Adopting systemic approach to end drug abuse
To create awareness on drug abuse, mental health and mark its one year anniversary, Tranquil and Quest in conjunction with Victoria Garden City Property Owners and Residents Association (VGCPORA) organised an awareness programme to address the scourge.
Tranquil and Quest is a mental health facility offering a range of health services centred on mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation.
Medical Director, Tranquil and Quest, Dr. Otefe Edebi said issues revolving drug abuse is at a worrisome spate in Nigeria, as it had been neglected for long and its effect now more evident.
He added that the awareness programme is to educate the public about the importance of mental health wellness and the effects of drug abuse on the society, adding that an average of one out of four people may be experiencing some form of mental challenge.
Edebi noted that their mission is to provide effective mental health, substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services in a comfortable, safe and supportive environment within an integrated system of care.
The medical director said: “To address the issue of drug abuse, meetings or talks is not enough because one is continuously exposed to contents one the internet and musical videos that indirectly support drug abuse.”
He advised that young ones be sensitised regularly in school on the danger of drug abuse.
“Drug abuse campaign and awareness have to be structured and should also be participatory, because participants easily share their challenges and solutions proffered at such forum,” he added.
On mental health, Edebi said it is a combination of one’s nature or it can be nurtured, adding that one’s environment plays a huge role.
“Nature is genetic factors. We are born with temperaments not as result of environment but as a result of genetics while nurture is about the environment.
Mental health is always a combination of both. The environment can trigger the onset of mental health.
In an environment that is a war torn zone or poverty stricken, people are going to look for drugs but in an environment where that is not a norm, you are likely going to conform,” he stressed.
Although drug abuse is a lasting challenge, Edebi advised that a multi-disciplinary approach involving law enforcement agencies be applied, and called for the prosecution of drug dealers.
Similarly, Consultant Psychiatrist, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr. Yewande Oshodi, said that we all have a role to play because there are lots of stigmas towards mental health, which is not attractive and fashionable.
Oshodi encouraged those seeking for help to go on regardless of stigmatisation.
“If your child needs mental help, that stigma helps in preventing you from getting care. There is no index of suspicion so we tend to miss out on these issues. Parents should change approach not only by medication.”
She added that early intervention helps and prevents outcomes because it lead might lead to poor academic performance, suicide as one of unfortunate outcome of mental health.
“Long term mental issues include adult making poor choices because someone failed to attend to them.
As parents we can contribute or loss it, physiological, emotional, social wellbeing of the kids.”” She explained.