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Betterland Forum » BETTERLAND NIGERIAN FORUMS » Betterland/General » Health » Only 16% of pharmacists trained on substance abuse disorders — PSN

Only 16% of pharmacists trained on substance abuse disorders — PSN

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Abraham

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Irked by continuous loss of lives to drug abuse and misuse, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, weekend listed measures to tackle the menace even as it decried that out of about one million pharmacies operating in Nigeria, only 50,000 renew their licence annually.
The PSN said a new survey it conducted entitled: Pharmacists’ Perceptions and Knowledge and Attitudes on the Menace of Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse in Nigeria, shows that only 16 per cent of the pharmacists have received training on substance abuse disorders.
At a media training held last week to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Lagos, the President of the PSN, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, noted that the issue of drug abuse has reached unprecedented level across all the geopolitical zones of the country.
Yakasai who noted that PSN-Narcotics and Drug Abuse Committee has been educating people on the dangers of drug abuse, called on the government and other stakeholders to pay more attention to the menace.
“We believe that with utmost commitment from all stakeholders, we can reduce drug abuse to the lowest ebb in Nigeria. Our focus should be more on prevention of drug abuse as well as treatment of drug addiction in various parts of the country.”
Presenting result of the survey, Yakasai said only 16 per cent of pharmacists have received any training recently about substance disorders, although 97 per cent have good knowledge of drug abuse as a social problem.
From the survey, 86 per cent indicated that they can identify signs of drug abuse in addicted persons but only 46 per cent are familiar with counselling techniques for persons addicted, while 24 per cent are familiar with treatment protocols for substance abuse disorders.
Yakasai, however, regretted that in the face of the current drug abuse development, many pharmacies have failed to renew their licences. According to him, out of about one million pharmacies, only 50,000 renew their licences while others operate illegally.
The survey, he noted, identified factors promoting pharmaceutical drug abuse to include peer pressure, cultism, open drug markets, inadequate regulatory control, inadequate logistics and prevalence of illegal medicine outlets and presence of drug hawkers.
The survey identified common pharmaceutical drugs of abuse to include; cough syrups with codeine, alcohol, diazepam, bromazepam, methamphetamine and amphetamine.
According to the study, to tackle drug abuse, there should be capacity development on drug abuse and treatment protocols should be encouraged and enhanced, training for pharmacists, and pharmacy staff, regulators to reinforce regulatory control, institute audit trail for drugs manufactured locally or imported into the country, raise awareness of local drug abuse trends, document and report them by pharmacists.
Others include the need to raise the level of control, drug abuse prevention should be instituted in the curriculum from primary schools, policy on rehabilitation of drug addicts should be established and disseminated, and more rehabilitation centres should be built. And specially designed prescription sheets should be designed and used for controlled medicines to aid documentation and control amongst others.
The survey also added that banning or suspension of marketing licences or sale of these products was not in the interest of controlling or managing drug abuse situation currently on hand as it would only result in drugs becoming more expensive as users and sellers go underground and become difficult to track.
In his lecture entitled: Contemporary issues in healthcare delivery (drug abuse and misuse, AMR, fake and falsified drugs and drug distribution) and PSN, the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, PCN, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, noted that drug abuse and misuse is a social malaise as well as a moral and mental health challenge to the public.
Mohammed listed some measures to curtail drug abuse and misuse to include; blocking the supply source as when the supply chain is crippled, there would be no supply.
He posited that once the new National Drug Distribution Guidelines, NDDG, comes into force on January 01, 2019 and with good enforcement, it would drastically reduce drug abuse and misuse.
Represented by Public Relations Officer of the PCN, Pharm Peter Iliya, Mohammed said demand reduction was also important, adding: “There is no need to vilify or criminalise drug abuse and misuse or to stigmatise the victims; what the victims need is empathy, rehabilitation and re-orientation.
“The phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance is of great concern. This is more so that even antibiotics that are considered the last arrows in our quivers in the war against microbes have already fallen victim to antimicrobial resistance. Rational use of antimicrobial agents is therefore very essential in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
“In Nigeria, the existence of open drug markets is a major source of falsified and fake medicines. However, at the centre of this menace is the issue of drug distribution in Nigeria. If we have a good, well regulated and sanitised drug distribution system in Nigeria, fake and falsified medicines would be a thing of the past.
“Drug distribution is a key and strategic component of any healthcare system. A healthcare delivery system lacks credibility and legitimacy without good drugs. It is therefore paramount for us to have a good drug distribution system that can guarantee safe, efficacious and affordable medicines across all levels of health care delivery in Nigeria.
“For a long time, our drug distribution system in Nigeria has been in shambles and disarray due mainly to poor regulation occasioned by absence of political will by successive Governments at the centre,” he added.

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