‘Drug abuse wors­en­ing youths’ men­tal prob­lems’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Balarabe Alka­s­sim, Bauchi

Abuse drugs and other sub­stances are caus­ing ris­ing men­tal health prob­lems among Nige­rian youths.

A Con­sul­tant Psy­chi­a­trist at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Univer­sity Teach­ing Hospi­tal, Bauchi, Dr Abubakar Baguda, said this yes­ter­day at a lec­ture to mark the 2018 World Men­tal Health Day in Bauchi. of

He said eight out of ev­ery 10 psy­chi­atric pa­tients brought to psy­chi­atric clin­ics are youths who have abused drugs.

He said a re­search by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) had shown that half of all men­tal health cases start from ages 14 which mostly go un­de­tected.

Ac­cord­ing to him, most youths nowa­days spend hours on the in­ter­net and are ex­posed to crimes and drug and sub­stance abuse by their peers.

He said pre­ven­tion of men­tal health chal­lenges starts from un­der­stand­ing early warn­ing signs and symp­toms.

He said rather that stig­ma­tize drug ad­dicts, com­mu­ni­ties should find ways of re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing and rein­te­grat­ing them back into the so­ci­ety.

An­other speaker, Ate­bgese Si­mon, Dr said youths usu­ally go into drug abuse as a re­sult of peer group pres­sure for self­es­teem.

He said drug abuse af­fects vi­tal or­gans in the hu­man body and has phys­i­cal, so­cial and men­tal ef­fect on an in­di­vid­ual.

He said that Bauchi was among the states with a high rate of codeine abuse trans­lat­ing into the large turnout of pa­tients with men­tal prob­lems.

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