The association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) have called for resolute efforts in tackling the menace arising from drug abuse in the country warning its increases poverty, threatens personal wellbeing and peaceful relationships.
They say actions should be taken from the prospective of creating more awareness in the country.
“Drug abuse and poverty is a vicious cycle of one leading to the other”, said Raphael Ogbolu, consultant Psychiatrist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) who spoke at the 14th annual scientific conference and general meeting with the themed: “effect of drug addiction on integral human development” held from the 4th -7th of July in Lagos.
According to Ogbolu drug abuse increase the risk of psychosis from direct effect on the brain in cases of such drugs as cannabis noting that these effects can lead to lower productivity and therefore lower or no income, and as a result, such a person will be unable to afford housing, feeding and other basic needs required for personal wellbeing.
However, the Nigeria drug use survey finding shows that about 12.5 percent of the populace had experienced consequence due to other people’s drug use in their families, workplace and communities, including loss lives.
Also about 66 percent of drug users reported having serious problems as a result to missing work, poor performance in school or at work. All of these affect users’ prospects at earning reasonable income and t so they slip or remain in the lower socio- economic class.
Drug addiction may also results in forms of mental illness that will warrant loss of freedom due to prolonged hospital admission. Cannabis is the most commonly used drugs followed by opiods which includes the likes of tramadol, codeine, and heroin
Drug use in most common among those 25-39 years which should be worrisome being that they belong to the main productive age range in the youthful population of Nigeria.
Also speaking Emmanuel Okechukwu , the president (ACMPN)and a public health physician said that one of the thing that is expected after the conference is to have some action points to create awareness on the enormousness of the problem of drug abuse because the multiple effect on the life of the individuals family and the society at large.
“I hope that as we keep challenges in mind in reflecting on the effects of drug addiction in integral human development, with a clear vision, championed by convinced members, the association will be able to make impacts that will positively influence the society and the country’s health policies,” added Idahosa Amadasu Reverend Father, the National chaplain.
Ogbolu said there is a need to take deliberate action, “ there are fact that drug abuse needs to be addressed early, promoting school mental health is important, a functional family system is imperative especially in terms of parenting style and communications,”
“We must stop stigma towards drug abuse and other mental illnesses because it is a barrier to treatment and we should adopt the conceptual frame work of Integral human development,” he stressed.