Home Health Widespread!…. Doctors Alarm Increased Mental Health Disorder Across Liberia; Crave Urgent Curative, Other Measures

Widespread!…. Doctors Alarm Increased Mental Health Disorder Across Liberia; Crave Urgent Curative, Other Measures

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By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: Doctors, Nurses and Mental Health Practitioners have underscored the urgency for the Government of Liberia (GOL), to declare war on Mental Health Disorder and Drug Addiction in the country.

The medical specialists disclosed that Mental Health Disorder and Drug Addiction have become epidemic in Liberia.

The doctors said Liberia’s current generation, comprising pre-dominantly young people, is also at-risk of mental health disorder and drugs addiction.

They called on the Liberian government, headed by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to take appropriate measures to address the situation.

They called for an institution of stringent measures to help abolish the rapid spread of mental health disorder and drugs addiction.
Dr. Lorraine Cooper, County Health Director at the Ministry of Health (MOH) emphasized the need for urgency to be placed on the matter, considering n the increase in illicit drug addiction and its severe effects on Liberia’s largely youthful population.

“Our nation has come a long way to see most of its youth scatters in the streets as a result drugs addiction and mental disorder. We must rise against this epidemic as nation and people,” Dr. Cooper told gathering.

Dr. Cooper stressed that the nation has an opportunity to fight the “epidemic” due to President Boakai’s campaign promise to Liberians to heighten the fight against illicit drugs and other dangerous substances.

Developing a national curriculum to offer specialized courses in Liberian colleges and universities to teach prevention, and curative skills was proposed to the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit.

She spoke at the graduation of 33 mental health practitioners following a year of training in drugs addiction treatment, organized by the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Health Mental Health Unit.

Earlier, at the end of the training on drugs substance use disorder for professionals, Madam Angie Tarr Nyakoon, Director for Mental, Neurological and Substance Use Disorders at the Ministry of Health, said the use of illicit drugs is not only unique to Liberia.

She added that it has become a global public health concern, which, according to her, needs concerted efforts in heightening the fight against this global menace that is threatening the lives of many young people worldwide.

Madam Nyakoon said her Unit has been closely working with development partners, including the Bureau of International Narcotics and law Enforcement Affairs to train professionals from cross-section of institutions and organizations.

“As phase one concludes today, we trained drugs addiction professionals who will treat our mothers, and sister; our fathers and brothers who are victims of drugs. The entire process is capacity-building training, starting from prevention, treatment and recovery,” the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Director explained.

Others who participated in the training, in an interview said, drugs abuse in Liberia is a major contributing factor to the destruction of many children, young men and women.

“Eventually, this is leading to an increase in criminal activities because these youths who are mostly unemployed, are engage in criminal activities to support their bad hobbies,” one of the training participants said.

The trigger down effect is on the guilt-free population that suffers the most from varying unlawful and criminal acts being exhibited by substance abusers.

They named some of the criminal and unlawful acts as the snatching away of personal belongings, scamming, robbery, burglary, among others.

Construction of make-shift structures for commercialization of illicit drugs and other dangerous substances has been on the increased in Monrovia and its environs.

Recent statistics from the Liberian Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) shows that vast majority of illicit drug stocks are sold to young people who constitutes 60% of the Liberian population , according to the 2022 Nation Population CENSU.
The LDEA, in its 2022 report, disclosed that there were approximately 355 ghettos in Montserrado County alone.

At least 88 new ghettos were added in 2022. About 60% of the ghettos are permanent and 40% are make-shifts.

The construction of new ghettoes in the country, according to observers, are based on past administrations’ failure to put into place the necessary mechanisms aimed at curtailing the importations of illicit drugs.

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