Ekiti to enact mental health bill
THe ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr Oyebanji Filani, has revealed the plan of the state government to enact a mental health bill as part of efforts to take care of persons suffering from physical and mental effects of drug abuse.
Oyebanji said that the bill “will ensure the needed resources, systems and facilities to take care of such individuals are available.”
The commissioner who spoke at an event organised to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, lamented the abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances.
He said, “Drug abuse is also often accompanied by a negative impact on a person’s social life and even on communities. These could include job loss, strained relationships, violence and even poverty.
“The increasing rates of armed robbery, terrorism, kidnapping, rape and other societal ills have also been linked to drug abuse, making it an issue of great concern. Hence, the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking should not be left to the government alone. It requires an allof-society approach to adequately address the scourge.
“Drug abuse and illicit trafficking have very negative impacts on development and have become public health concern nationally and even in the state.”
Filani, who advocated the urgent need to address gaps in information and also invest more in health advised that identified sources of illicit drugs should be thoroughly investigated.
According to him, among steps being taken by the state government to address drug abuse included continuous awareness programmes in schools and other public gatherings such as markets and places of worship.
He said, “The Psychiatric Department of the ekiti State University Teaching Hospital offers targeted services to persons who suffer from physical and mental effects of drug abuse.”
“With verified, evidencebased information backed up with the necessary action, we can end drug abuse and illicit trafficking in our state and in Nigeria.”