30% of Mental Cases Are Drug Induced
Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority, Dr Akwasi Osei has lamented over the increased number of drug related cases reported at the country’s mental health institutions in the year 2017.
Dr Osei noted that the year under review, 30 per cent out of the 300,000 cases that reported at the mental health facilities were drug related.
According to him alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroine, were among the drugs that were reported at the outpatient department.
He said this at the ongoing two-day inter-agency consultative forum on strategies for Countering Counterfeit Drugs and substance abuse held in Accra.
The forum brought together 50 agencies including personnel from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Police Service, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) the Media, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Ghana Health Service, Ghana Prisons Service, the Judiciary among others.
Dr Osei noted that the increase of such cases were alarming and an added problem, the country was now sitting on a time bomb if government and agencies do not act.
According to him, some drug addicts had reasons for abusing drugs to ease pain, for leisure, and to work.
However, Dr Osei said substance abuse had often resulted in cardiac arrest and brain disorders.
He was not happy with the way some health officers were abusing drugs as they prescribe them to their colleagues to ease pain.
Dr Osei said a drug such as Methadone also known as Dolophine ended up being abused by people who were expected to know better.
The CEO of Mental Health Authority called for the amendment of the existing laws by instituting punitive measures such as confiscating assets of dealers in counterfeit drugs.
Assets sold could be used to resource institutions mandated to fight counterfeit drugs and substance abuse in the country, he added.