Dr Abubakar Bagudu, a Consultant Psychiatrist with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBTH), Bauchi, has said eight out of every 10 patients brought to the mental clinic of the hospital are youth, who abused drugs.
Speaking at a lecture to mark the 2018 World Mental Health day in Bauchi on Wednesday, Bagudu said drug abuse among youth has increased suicide rates.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said half of all mental health-related cases begin at age 14, with many of the cases going undetected.
“That is why the Psychiatric department decided to create awareness among post primary school students. Most youth, nowadays, spend hours on the internet, experiencing horror films and crimes,” he said.
According to NAN, Bagudu described adolescence and early adulthood as periods when many changes occurred, which sees youth experimenting with many things such including drug abuse. He stressed the need for communities to re-integrate those who had undergone rehabilitation into the society.
In his remarks, Dr Atebgese Simon said attributed drug abuse to the influence of peer group pressure, noting that drugs affect the vital organs, and have physical, social and mental effect on the users.
“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
He 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.”