IAHERI, AAPU organized 2nd International Webinar on drug abuse and illicit trafficking

The Institute of Africa Higher Education Research and Innovation (IAHERI), Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria (MAAUN), has organized its Second International Webinar to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The conference, which has its theme: Hybrid Rehabilitation Model for the Treatment of People with Substance use Disorder was conducted on Monday, 26th June, 2023, in collaboration with the Association of African Private Universities (AAPU).

In his paper presentation, a lecturer with the Bayero University, Kano and Executive Director, Almustaqbal Rehabilitation Psychotherapy Clinic, Dr. Idris Salisu Rogo described substance use disorder as a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior, which leads to an inability to control the use of legal or illegal drugs.

He said the number of substance abusers in the country is estimated to be 14.3 million, most of whom fall within the ages of 15 and 64.

Dr. Rogo, who spoke at length on the dangers associated with the drug abuse, said a complete psychiatric appraisal is indispensable to guiding the management of a client with substance use disorder.

According to him, people with substance use disorder could be reintegrated back to normal life in a society through parental counseling and empowerment programs such as skills acquisition to sustain their mental health.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of MAAUN, Prof. (Dr.) Mohammad Israr said substance use disorder is a treatable mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to inability to control use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol or medications.

He noted that the journey from a substance use disorder to a healthy, sober life is not a quick and easy one as it takes a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work.

He said many people who participated were from different countries of the world, including Nigeria, India, Togo, Somalia, France, and the United Kingdom, among others.

Two discussants from the United Kingdom and one from Lagos, Nigeria, reviewed the paper presented by Dr. Rogo while Prof. Abdullahi Muhammad Sabo, Dean, Postgraduate School, MAAUN- Maradi served as the rapporteur during the conference.

The three discussants were Miss Fidel Olekanma, Mental Health Nurse, United Kingdom, Muftahu Sanusi, Community Development Consultant, and Founder, Humanics Lab. United Kingdom and Dr. Omotayo Ajirotutu, Deputy Director, Clinical Psychologist and Head, Psychological Services, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos.

In his closing remark, the Vice President Administration, Dr. Habib Awais Abubakar commended the chief host, who is the Founder and Chairman Governing Council of the University, Prof. Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo for his continuous support to education in Nigeria and Africa at large.

While thanking the convener, Prof. Abubakar Sadiq Harouna of the IAHERI for successfully organizing the conference, Dr. Awais Abubakar also appreciated the panel of discussants for their individual contributions to the success of the program.

Among the management staff that also contributed during the conference were the Vice President Campus Life, Dr. Hamza Garba who called for the establishment of more rehabilitation centers as the existing ones are grossly inadequate, and Dr. Abdullahi Garba, who stressed the need for stakeholders to focus on locally produced substances that are being abused by the youth.

Others who participated were Dr. Musa Uba Adamu and Prof. Rayyan Garba who spoke on the ills of drug abuse in the society and the way forward.