Half of all mental health cases start from age 14, and mostly go undetected.
A Consultant psychiatrist with the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi, (ATBTH), Bauchi, Dr Abubakar Bagudu says youths constitute a larger percentage of patients brought to the psychiatric clinic of the hospital.
According to him drug abuse among young people leaves them with depression and high level of suicide.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), he said half of all mental health cases start from age 14, and mostly go undetected.
The Psychiatrist noted that due to changes that occur in the body during the adolescent and early adulthood stages, youths are prone to experimenting with a lot of things, including drugs pointing out though that prevention could begin from understanding early warning signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
Bagudu harped on the need for communities not to stigmatise drug addicts but said rather that efforts should be geared towards re-integrating them into the society after treatment.
Another speaker, Dr Atebgese Simon threw more light on the reasons youths take drugs. He said, “Youths take to drugs due to the influence of peer groups, pressure to improve self esteem, drug availability, accessibility, wrongful prescription and lack of drug education.”
He called for the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre in the state to cater for addicts after completing their treatment.
“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, pointing out further that drugs affected the vital organs of the human body and had physical, social and mental effect on an individual.
October 10, is celebrated as World Mental Health Day. The theme for this year is “Young people and mental health in a changing world.”