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Group wants regulatory council on substance addiction management

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The Nigerian Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP), Nigeria Chapter, has called for the establishment of a regulatory council for the practice of substance addiction management in the country.

The group said the call became necessary considering the harm caused by actors in the field of drug demand reduction in the name of providing interventions, which are not evidence based.

President of the association, Dr. Martin Agwogie, made the call at the formal inauguration of the association and its first Annual General Meeting in Abuja.

“What we see in this field is that people who have not received any form of training in substance addiction management wakes up in the morning, put two or three beds in one room and calls it treatment and rehabilitation centre.

Agwogie maintained that drug demand reduction is a profession, and should be practised only by those who have received evidence-based trainings.

He said the association would collaborate with relevant stakeholders for the introduction of addiction prevention, treatment and policy, as a standard international course of study in higher institutions in the country.

“We believe this will help to consolidate and sustain the professionalisation of drug demand reduction in Nigeria,” he said.

In his goodwill message, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire noted that the 2019 World Drug Report indicated that 35 million people worldwide suffer from substance use disorders, and require treatment services with only one in seven people receiving treatment.

He said the disturbing numbers raise serious public health issues, which require that Nigeria strengthens its drug demand reduction strategies, by focusing more on evidence-based drug use prevention, treatment and continuum of care, to reduce the demand for drugs and prevent the morbidity and mortality attributed to drug use in the country.


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Dr. Martin AgwogieISSUP
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