Drug users and addicts no longer have excuses not to seek treatment with the commissioning of a modern 24/7 call centre set up to attend to Nigerians from all parts of the country, the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd.), said on Thursday.
Marwa, according to a statement by the agency’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, spoke at the inauguration of the NDLEA call centre with toll free helpline and manned by professionals and experts in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry among others in Abuja.
He said, “The provision of this toll-free helpline is a milestone in our resolve to broaden access to quality health care for drug users in the country. This has become a necessity and a strategic intervention in our determined effort to bring under control the increasing cases of drug use disorder and related health concerns.”
Marwa said that although the country has treatment centres, while NDLEA has 26 treatment facilities across its commands, they are nevertheless grossly inadequate in the face of statistics of drug users and those suffering from drug use disorder.
He said, “The NDLEA recognised the importance of providing a safety bubble for users who ordinarily cannot access the conventional treatment services at established rehabilitation centres due to poverty, social stigma and the resultant discrimination attached to being an identified drug user in society, among other factors. Therefore, the inevitability and the utility of a toll-free helpline that guarantees anonymity, confidentiality and safety, as a motivation for those in need of health help to freely seek such.
“The NDLEA Call Centre is manned by a team of licensed and credible clinical psychologists, counsellors, support workers and mental health professionals who would provide the needed support in aiding recovery, managing social and emotional problems, improving quality of life and enhancing performance and productivity of the users of the service. With its state-of-the-art equipment and its team of highly trained professionals in substance abuse disorder, this centre offers a teletherapy service according to global best practices.