Drug abuse: Nigeria govt to establish 6 rehab centres



Nigerian government has planned to establish six additional psychological rehabilitation centers in the country.

On behalf of the government, the development was disclosed by Mohammed Buba Marwa, chairman, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, at the 5th biennial national symposium on drugs and drug policy in Nigeria.

The symposium was organized by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse, CRISA held in Abuja, a statement by Femi Babafemi, the agency's spokesman, said.

According to Femi, the chairman said the rehabilitation centers will be established across the six geo-political zone of the country to effectively manage the victims of drug abuse.

‘In an effort to stem the tide, the agency has proposed the construction of six standard rehabilitation centers across the six geo-political zones in the country beginning from next year, and three of the centers would start next year as already proposed in the 2022 budget,’ Mr. Marwa said.

He explained that the move is part of the agency's efforts to treat the high number of persons suffering from drug addiction in the country.

'Substance use and abuse around the world including Nigeria is on the increase in terms of the proportion of the world’s population.

'Findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC revealed that 14.4% or 14.3 million Nigerians aged 15 – 64 years had used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes, meaning that one in seven persons has used some substances other than alcohol and tobacco.

'More worrisome is the finding that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a woman. Above findings of the survey by UNODC give a troubling portrait of drug abuse in Nigeria and we can no longer live-in denial that Nigeria has a thriving illicit drug culture,' he added.

He noted that the substances abused impacts negatively on the individual, family and the society in general.

He also said substance abuse affects the physical, social and psychological levels of the user and family members.

Marwa stated that, evidence has shown that Covid-19 infections are higher or more common with people diagnosed with substance use disorders, SUD, hence addiction care must be reinforced in order to avoid complications of SUD and Covid-19

'Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends to a large extent on the successful treatment of existing drug users. This fact accounts for the shift in global drug policy viz the treatment of drug problems as a public health issue. Consequently, we have operationalized our standard practice and policy guidelines, a treatment and rehabilitation document developed in conjunction with UNODC.

'The document, like a field manual, provides synergy among our counsellors and further boosts our capability at treatment and rehabilitation,' Marwa further explained.

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