Don advocates education campaign to change public perception on drug abuse


A Mental Health expert,  Prof. Badru Fatai, has called for more education and orientation to change people’s perception on the effects of drug abuse to human life.

Fatai, also a Professor of Nursing at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said that there was need for continuous rehabilitation of people involved in drugs.

According to him, when people’s general perception about  and orientation on drugs are changed, it will have more positive impact on the society.

“Placing regulation on drugs is another means of checking drug abuse, but it may not go a long way because when you regulate, you cannot follow people into their rooms and kitchens to regulate what they do with the drugs.

“People’s mindsets need to be changed, educated and reoriented to realise that the drugs they are taking, producing, selling or distributing, will have negative effects on human life.

“Therefore, desisting from getting involved in such drugs will be better because if there is no production or supply for the drugs, there won’t be demand for them,” he said.

Fatai said that drug abuse was a risk factor for suicide, depression and other mental health problems.

He noted that suicide and its preventions were inadequately addressed in Nigeria due to lack of awareness on it as an important public health problem and the cultural taboo attributed to its public discussion.

According to him, the current political will in the prevention of suicide is weak and almost nonexistent.

“It is, therefore, important to raise massive public awareness about suicide, to break down the taboos associated with it in order to make progress in preventing suicide in Nigeria.

“More research is needed to assess the patterns of suicide, changes in the rates, and characteristics and methods of suicide.

“This will also help to set up an achievable plan in suicide prevention.

“More importantly, government input is needed, if any reasonable achievement is to be recorded in the prevention of suicide in Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)

-Mar 3, 2021 @ 2;22pm

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