By Chioma Obinna
Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, recently tasked new graduates of the International Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professional (ICCE) to utilise their acquired knowledge to curb drug addiction among Nigerian youths.
Speaking during the Certificate Presentation Ceremony/launch of the “Lagos Against Drug Abuse Campaign”, LADAC a initiative of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, FNPHY, Ambode who was represented by Mrs Kemi Durosinmi-Etti, called for replication of knowledge and expertise with a view to bringing help for victims of drug abuse.
The ICCE is a product of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the FNPHY and the United States of America Department of State-funded Colombo Plan Drugs Advisory Programme, DAP.
“LADAC would be very useful to Lagosians because it is taking the issue of drug abuse and drug usage to the grassroots. It is not just about getting emergency cases of drug abuse into hospitals; it is now going out to the people to try to prevent it before it gets to the hospitals.”
Throwing light on the programme, the Medical Director, FNPHY, Dr Oluyemi Ogun explained that the MoU was signed in 2017 and that 95 healthcare professionals at different stages of the course have been trained.
“Also, 31 members of the Nigerian Prisons staff have been fully sponsored by the psychiatric hospital to build capacity in the field of addiction treatment, 70 professionals have been certified at different stages of the US credentialing examination in Nigeria in 2018 to become International Certified Addiction Professionals (ICAP I & II).”
She added that the way to combat drug abuse and addiction includes community mobilisation, environmental strategies and school-based prevention education intervention.
“The first two strategies involve the government working with the experts to formulate and enforce laws which include the ban on selling of alcohol or other substances of abuse to people under the age of 18 years; drug-free school environment; and incorporating dangers of the use of substances of abuse into the school curriculum.
“This evidence-based approach of substance use prevention involves a multisectoral and interdisciplinary approach.
“There was the need for the hospital to collaborate with other sister agencies in this fight to save the future of this nation. In 2018, the hospital recorded 50 percent increase in number of drug and substance abuse patients