By Mohammed Ahmed Kaigama
A Consultant psychiatric with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBTH), Bauchi, Dr Abubakar Bagudu says eight out of every 10 patients brought to the mental clinic of the hospital are youths who abused drugs.
Bagudu stated this at a lecture to mark the 2018 World Mental Health day in Bauchi on Wednesday.
He said drug abuse among young people had left them with depression and high level of suicide.
The consultant, who quoted the World Health Organisation( WHO) said half of all mental health cases started from ages 14, adding that most cases went undetected.
“That is why the Psychiatric department decided to create awareness among post primary school students.
“Most youths, nowadays, spend hours on the internet, experiencing horror films and crimes,” he said.
Bagudu said adolescents and early adulthood were periods when many changes occurred, thus, making youths to experiment a lot of things, including drugs abuse.
He, however, said prevention started from understanding early warning signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
The consultant, who stressed the need for communities not to stigmatise said drug addicts should be re-integrates into society after treatment.
In his remark, Dr Atebgese Simon said youths took to drugs due to the influence of peer group pressure to improve self esteem, drug availability, accessibility, wrongful prescription and lack of drug education.
He added that drugs affected the vital organs of the human body and had physical, social and mental effect on an individual.
“Bauchi as you know is among the states with a high rate of codeine abuse, translating into large turnout of patients with mental problems in the state,” he said
Simon called for the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre in the state to cater for addicts after completing their treatment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year theme of the 2018 world mental health day is “Young people and mental health in a changing world.”