Senate seeks establishment of drugs rehab centers in states

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate has urged the government to establish drugs rehabilitation centres in each state.

The Senate was worried at the alarming rate at which drugs and substance are being abused in Nigeria.

It also mandated its Committee on Health to ensure that the government gives the centers the needed attention when established.

These resolutions were reached at Tuesday’s plenary, following a motion titled: “Urgent need to establish more rehabilitation centers across the country.”

Senator Jeremiah Useni, while leading debate on the motion, said: “the senate noted with serious concern that drugs and substance abuse have become the order of the day in all parts of the country with the attendant negative consequences which include criminal activities such as armed robbery, rape, etc.

“At least 50% of all addicts are likely to bear children with the same additive traits in their offspring unless and until they undergo professional drugs cessation rehabilitation.

 “Drugs and substance abuse affect intelligence which has gross negative effect in a person’s development across physical interpersonal social daily life which retards his basic achievements and therefore devastating multiple effects on the society”.

Senator Useni also said he was convinced that the rehabilitation centres, if increased would be able to address quite a number of issues both in the short term and the long term including professional rehabilitation of drug addicts, diagnosis of children on childhood psychological disorders, personality functioning for adults, intelligence (IQ) testing.

Reduce Drugs Related Issues
He further noted that increased number of the centers would go a long way to reduce drugs related issues such as impairment of memory, judgment, irritability, paranoid, suicidal ideation (suggestions to commit suicide), agitation or aggressiveness among the youths.

According to him, the unemployed graduates who are holding certificates in psychiatry, public health and community health would be absolved by the centers.

Increase in the Nation’s Population
Senator Mathew Urhoghide said the need for increasing the number of centers across the country was due to the increase in the nation’s population.

He lamented that most of the existing centers lack drugs and adequate personnel, a situation he noted has led many Nigerians to self-medication.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over Tuesday’s plenary, said it was important that the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant government agencies to establish more of the centers and ensure that they are properly regulated.

Confidence Okwuchi