Drug Rehabilitation: House of refuge set to build female centre

A drug rehabilitation and resource centre, the House of Refuge (HOR), says it will set up a centre for the rehabilitation of women who use drugs to the detriment of their health.

Dr Yinka Jibunoh, a Consultant Psychiatrist at HOR, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.

HOR is a resource centre under the Freedom Foundation which caters specifically for the rehabilitation needs of drug and alcohol dependent persons.

“We have a drop-in Centre where people come in daily for counselling and brief interventions and they go back home.

“At that Centre, we have started seeing an increase in female drug users especially very young girls between age 13 and 14.

“So, we feel it is time to start a female facility, what we have been doing for the men, let’s do the same for the women as well so that they get help.

“So we are in the process of setting that up,’’ Jibunoh said.

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According to her, the 2018 survey carried out by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime shows that one of four drug users is a woman.

She said the study had validated the large number of women drug users that the centre had attended to on a daily basis.

Jibunoh, who is also the Programme Officer for HOR, said that peer pressure was what led people into drug use.

“Everyone goes through some form of peer pressure, but what makes a person succumb to that pressure is low self-esteem’’.

“Once that is established, the child should be taken to HOR centre where they will look at the deficit in such child and help him or her build his self-esteem and assertive skills.’’

The psychiatrist said that signs of low self-esteem start showing from childhood, urging parents to pay good attention to their children’s situation.

“So if you have a child growing very timid and can’t talk outside, start working on that child.

“Get that child to involve in group activities where he gets to communicate more or get him to join a debate club where his confidence would be built’’.

Jibunoh, therefore, called on the government to amend and enforce already existing laws to give stricter punishment to drug dealers.

“I know that the laws we have now for drug addiction were made during the military regime which was a death sentence at one point.

“Sending them to the prison will not solve the problem, rather stiffer punishment should be left for the dealers because really, they are committing a crime,’’ she said.

Besides, she urged stakeholders to carry out enlightenment programmes for young people, especially at the grassroots for a proper understanding of the effect of drug use, down the line.

She added that people who used Marijuana, five years down the line, they would be at risk for Psychosis.

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