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Neurologist says drug abuse cause of increased mental illness

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The Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuro Psychiatry Hospital, Kaduna, Prof. Abdulkareem Jika- Yusuf has attributed the increase in mental illness to abuse of drug among other factors.

Jika- Yusuf who disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna said there has been an increase in the number of psychiatric patients in the hospital.

He said other factors that that can lead to mental challenge included; stress; depression; hereditary and chronic use of illicit drugs.

He advised people to shun the use of illicit drugs which he said has led to the increase in number of patients in the hospital.

“In recent time, the use of drugs has been a menace in this part of the country and leading to large turnover of patients in the hospital and this is a big problem in the country.

“The issue of drug use contributes to the patients that we see in the hospital and only a few that are hereditary and due to stress.

“Chronic use of some drugs can lead to both short and long term changes in the brain, which can lead to mental health issues including paranoia, depression, aggression, hullicination and other problems.

“This list include cocaine; inhalants; Ketamine and Marijuana as drugs that can cause mental health problems,” Jika- Yusuf said.

A data provided by the hospital authority, indicated that a total of 3,740 patients were admitted in the hospital for the period January to December 2018 as against 4,372 that were on admission in the hospital during same period in 2019.

This indicated an increase of 16.8 per cent. However in 2020, even though the number of patients increased from the previous figure in 2019 to about 4,696 indicating an increase of 324 patients, the percentage dropped from 16.8 per cent to 7.4 per cent.

He however said that there had been an increase this adding that so far the hospital recorded 2,599 from January to July this year.

He said the fight against the use of drugs is not only for government, and urged both Traditional and Religious leaders to help in sensitisation and in the fight to stem the scourge

“The issue of drugs use is not only affecting mental illness but also becoming an economic problem and all hands must be on deck to control the use of illicit drug use, because they are occupying most spaces in the hospital.”

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