‘Why drug abusers prefer herbalists, clerics to doctors’

A consultant psychiatrist, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Alfred Makanjuola, yesterday called for the separation of drug rehabilitation centre from psychiatric units in the nation’s health facilities.
Makanjuola, who is the head, Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre (UITH), said many people who suffered from the effects of substance abuses were reluctant to present themselves for treatment in facilities located within psychiatric units because those with mental illness “are highly stigmatised in the Nigerian society.”
He said “many people would rather go to herbalist and religious homes than to see an expert in drug rehabilitation centre located in psychiatric centre.”
The medical expert spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, at a Sensitisation and Awareness Campaign on Drug Abuse by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Rebuilding Foundation. The theme of the campaign was “Exposing the Predator, Say No To Drug Abuse.”
He said the best way of nipping the menace of substance abuse in the bud is through education on the consequences of substance abuse, especially amongst the youth.
In his remarks, the president, Canaan International Ministry, Ilorin, Rev. Emmanuel Adedayo-Oset, blamed parents and guardians for shaking their responsibility in moral upbringing of their children and wards.
“The home as the first culprit in substance abuse because many parents and guardians have abandoned their responsibilities of inculcating moral values in the young ones in their care.
“We owe God eternal responsibility on our children is not just having children but children that we can guide,” he said.
Project Co-ordinaror, Rebuilding Foundation, Mr. Gbenga Adekeye, said the programme was organised of the alarming rate of drug abuse especially among teenagers.

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