The Head of the Addictive Disease Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mr Logosu Amegashie, has advised Ghanaians to desist from treating drug addiction as a spiritual disease and rather resort to medical treatment.
He explained that drug addiction was not a moral deficiency but rather a medical condition which affected many people.
According to Mr Amegashie, drug addiction “is a medical condition which is very treatable and people must begin to see it as such.
Addiction is a primary disease and not secondary to anything and parents who become frustrated and take their children to prayer camps, must start realising that, that is just a misconception.”
He added that if families associated the condition to spiritism, they would rather make the situation worse.
Mr Amegashie made the statement at the opening of the renovated Addictive Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The unit, which is a prevention, treatment and rehabilitation centre, was closed down for renovation, after some of its facilities had deteriorated.
Through the intervention of Mr Amegashie and the help of the Head of Department of Psychiatry at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mrs Angela Ofori-Atta, the unit received some help from individuals and other corporate bodies for its renovation.
The renovation, which was completed at an estimated cost of GH¢ 130,000, included the fixing of air conditioners, tiling of the floors, changing of the roof, replacement of old furniture and re-painting of the building.
Mr Amegashie stated that the unit was the only addictive-unit in the country that rendered services to out patients, pointing out that there were other units at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, Accra Psychiatric Hospital at Asylum Down and the Pantang Hospital that were residential treatment centres.
He stated that the unit which had rendered efficient treatment services to people suffering from addiction and had produced good results over the years, still needed a residential facility for some of the patients who came from far.
“Sometimes, it also becomes difficult handling the patients and this is because we don’t keep them.
Because we don’t keep them, we cannot monitor them after they have left, unlike the other residential facility where they are kept and their activities are monitored,” he added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, expressed gratitude to the administrators of the unit for the renovation work.
He stated that previously, the addictive centre was a unit which was attached to the Psychiatric Centre but explained that people who abused drugs were not psychiatric patients and most of them were against the idea of keeping them as psychiatric patients who suffered stigmatisation.
He said the hospital would help build additional facilities to help boost its operations and encouraged the workers to work hard.