Omicron variant may increase addiction and mental disorders – Expert


The medical director of Yaba Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos, Dr Olugbenga Owoeye, said the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, will increase the rate of drug abuse, leading to an increase in the number of mental illnesses in the country.

Owoeye said this during the 2021 year-end activities and the hospital’s annual report for the year.

“According to hospital statistics, there is an increase in the number of drug addiction cases, we have recorded an increase of 51% this year. Due to the previous waves of COVID-19, several issues have affected the mental health of the population.

“With the appearance of things and with the fourth wave, we have to prepare for the year 2022. I am not going to deceive you because there could be more cases. Already, there is a lockdown in some countries; some people cannot return to their country while some companies suffer from their unavailability. When people start to think, they tend to use drugs to cope and as a result there will be an increase in cases of mental disorders, but we are ready to help those who need it, ”said Owoeye.

He however denounced the lack of adequate manpower at the hospital, noting that hospital staff were overused.

“We were able to cope with a manpower shortage due to the available infrastructure we have in the system. We have an 80 bed addiction unit for men and a 20 bed addiction unit for women.

“With the manpower available, we were able to manage this effectively, but we still need more support, more infrastructure, more manpower to be able to help us with our operations. tasks and to render perfect service to the nation as a whole, ”said Owoeye.

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