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Health News Thu, 29 Oct 2015

KATH diagnoses more drug- related mental disorders

Recent records at the Psychiatric Department of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the country’s second largest referral facility ranks drug-related mental illnesses as the third most diagnosed.

Dr Gordon Donnir, the Head of the Psychiatric Department of the facility who could not immediately give figures said the rising trend coupled with the fact that majority of sufferers were in their active youthful ages, should be a matter of grave concern to all.

The Senior Specialist Psychiatrist was giving a lecture on “Psychiatry Practice in the General Hospital setting” at a ceremony held in Kumasi to inaugurate the alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous, a group dedicated to aid the rehabilitation on those hooked to drugs.

He said the Department which sees general psychiatric cases constituting about 25 per cent of all clinical attendance at KATH, has consequently set up an Addiction Support Unit to assist patients come out of the challenge.

He said disease pattern showed a woeful vicious cycle in which substance abuse was found to have either precipitated the onset of the disease or the already mentally-ill, in an elusive attempt to self-medicate, used the causative psychoactive drugs to treat their psychiatric condition, worsening it.

The occasion which form part of the celebration of the World Mental Day was held under the theme, “Dignity in Mental Practice”, attracted some of the country’s renowned psychiatrists, Lord Kenya, the hip life-artist-turned-evangelist, community psychiatric rehabilitation centres and the management of KATH.

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Dr Donnir called on the public and families to counsel the youth to stay away from the menace whiles treating those already “in the soup” more humanely to reduce stigma and subsequently help them to come out of that “bondage”.

He also advocated the training of more psychiatric medical staff and the expansion of the existing facilities to enhance care.

Lord Kenya, leader and the founder of the Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous, who made a strong presence, held the audience spell bound as he took them through the journey of how he gradually graduated from alcoholism into narcotic drugs and how he miraculously came out of it through the power of God.

He extended an arm of fellowship and love to all drug addicts who are struggling to come out not to feel shy but to come out boldly and seek help, “there surely is help”.

Daniel Oduro Kwakye, a national delegate of the Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous, said the group made up of rehabilitated drug addicts, is self-supporting and has no religious or any political affiliations.

He invited those into drugs to join them for recovery.

Source: GNA