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Expert trains students on mental illness, drug abuse

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Students at the mental health training programme in Lagos


Concerned about the alarming rate of drug abuse, suicides and mental illness among youths, a non-governmental organisation, Adicare rehabilitation home has embarked on enlightenment and advocacy campaign to schools in order curb the menace.

Chief executive officer of the home, Mrs. Veronica Ezeh who led her team to address the over 500 students including teens and youth at the programme lamented the havoc caused by substance abuse and stressed the need to shun the menace.

Some of the participating schools at the programme were Ajeromi Ifelodun Secondary School, Kuye Secondary School, Navy Secondary School, Alternative Grammar School, and Agboju Grammar School among others.

According to World Health Organisation [WHO], the harmful use of alcohol results in about 3.3 million deaths each year. Worldwide about 31 million persons have drug use disorders, almost 11 million inject drugs from which 1.3 millions are living with the dreaded HIV, and 5.5 million with hepatitis C. Since the burden of drug abuse is so much on the society, it is important that the teenagers avoid those deadly and life-destroying substances to enable them remain focus and avoid preterm death.

The group is a non- governmental organisation created to ensure that young generations have quality information on substance abuse and utilise knowledge to empower themselves against social vices.

According to recent reports, “There are some common drugs used in Nigeria and it was estimated that 246 million (range 162-324) people in the world have used an illegal drug in the past 12 months. The drugs used include cannabis, opiates (such as heroin) cocaine and amphetamine type stimulants. Globally the most common illegal drug used is cannabis.

In Nigeria drug use problems are found throughout the country but there are no official estimates of the numbers of drug users in the country.

“However the numbers are considered large enough to be of concern. The most common illegal drug used in Nigeria is cannabis. Other illegal drugs include cocaine, heroin, amphetamine type stimulants and inhalants and solvents such as glue. There are lots of misunderstandings about the type of drugs people use and their side effects. “

Ezeh disclosed that she has created a forum where equality will enhance free communication through group discussion; use young generation to pass information among themselves through drama, debate, clubs among others. She also encouraged every student to join Adicare drug resilient group to help in the fight against substance abuse.

She said, “There are lots of misunderstandings about the type of drugs people use and their side effects. As for the management of mental illness, it is all about early identification and prompt action to seeking for help. The management is mainly psychological treatment.


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