Dr Akwasi Osei, Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health Authority 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 30 per cent out of the 300,000 cases that reported at the mental health facilities under the year under review were drug related.
According to him alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroine were among the drugs that were reported at the Out Patients Department.
He was speaking 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), the 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 with spate of the cases were serious and major problem, adding, 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, adding, some abuse drugs to ease pain, leisure, 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 prescribed 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.
According to him, assets sold could be used to resource institutions mandated to fight counterfeit drugs and substance abuse in the country.