Nigeria needs more mental health centres: Psychiatrist
A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr George Niyi, has called on authorities and donor agencies to facilitate establishment of more rehabilitation centres to cater to the needs of persons seeking psychotherapy.
Mr Niyi, who works at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital (FNPH) Yaba, made the call in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said that rehabilitation centres provided chains of opportunities to substance abusers, mentally retarded persons and other related individuals.
According to him, rehabilitation centres provide occupational therapy for the person to be engaged productively asides from treatments while they serve as skills acquisition grounds for training of other normal individuals.
The psychiatrist added that substance abuse has genetic and social cause lineage and urged parents, organisation as well as stakeholders to redouble efforts on sanitising the society.
Mr Niyi emphasised that myths and misconceptions on substance abuse need to be straightened to achieve maximum success.
According to him, drug addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease that is characterised by cumulative substance seeking and use despite harmful consequences.
He said that drug abuse causes clinical impairment such as mental health problems, depression and a person’s failure to meet major livelihood responsibilities.
“Illegal consumption of substances affects the nervous system; acts on the brain and spinal cord to alter the way a person thinks and behaves,” he said.
He explained that research indicated that about 275 million people used illicit drugs such as cannabis.
“Worldwide annual prevalence of illicit drugs used is estimated at 5.6 per cent and Nigeria had a prevalence estimation of 14.4 per cent.
“Harmful use of alcohol results in 3.3 million deaths in the world annually and about 31 million have drug related disorders,” he said.
He said that mental disorders interrelate with substance abuse as sometimes, a person with mental disorders uses drugs in order to relieve symptoms, control or improve attention.
The expert said that a substance user can be identified through self-recognition, toxicology test, withdrawal symptoms, drugs possession and frequent late coming, absenteeism, insubordination and frequent change of emotion
He commended the federal government on its intervention, response and policies on mental health service delivery, saying that no fewer than 11 federal health institutions render active psychiatric services in the country.
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