Health workers boost skills to screen drug users


01-September-2011

This is during a five-day workshop at the Seychelles Hospital which has been organised by the Ministry of Health.

It is being led by consultant psychiatrist Dr Daniella Malulu and clinical psychologist Anna Lisa Labiche.

The training, which started on Monday, will also help to improve quality of assessment in drug dependent services and intervention.

A press release from the ministry said during the last five years the drug situation in Seychelles has changed dramatically for the worse. 

“From the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol, the picture is now filled with a wider variety of drugs.  These include heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy and some patients are being admitted with dependence on benzodiazepines especially diazepam.”

With young women also using heroin, there has been a marked increase in the number of mothers with heroin dependent neonates.

It also said the age of first use of illicit drugs continue to fall with some patients having begun with heroin at their experimenting stage instead of the usual situation of experimentation with cannabis.

”Patients as young as 15 or 16 have been admitted to the Psychiatric Unit and the Mont Royal Centre with drug related problems.  Some work places have discovered widespread cannabis use amongst their work force.”

The training material being used for the workshop is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime TREATNET II Curriculum. The main aim of this curriculum is to disseminate knowledge and build capacity in order to increase access for drug users to effective and diversified treatment services.

Those taking part are mostly nurses from the hospitals and community health services of the Ministry of Health, one occupational therapy assistant, psychologists and assistant psychologists from other ministries and non-governmental organisations.

In August a group of midwives also attended a two-day workshop entitled “Drug addiction and pregnancy”.

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