Booze, Drugs Drive 50 Men Mad per Month in Gulu

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More than 60 people are admitted at Gulu Mental Health Department every month, for mental illnesses triggered by their overindulgence in illicit drugs and alcohol.

Alfred Lulua Droti, the acting officer in charge at Gulu mental health unit, told Uganda Radio Network that the most abused substance is marijuana.   

Droti says the majority of the patients admitted for drug abuse-related illnesses are male who lives on the streets, and those who have left the running of home affairs to their wives.   He says more than 50 of the admissions are always male, while the females are always around ten cases. 

Droti appeals to the cultural leaders and elders, to join hands in helping the mental health department in sensitizing the public about the dangers of illicit drug and alcohol abuse, adding that if not helped, the mental health unit might one day fail to have space for admitting all patients who need help.

Droti attributes the high prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse among men, to the societal setting which heaps most domestic chores on women, while men have more time on their hands, making them idle and prone to temptations of drug abuse. 

Droti reveals that in the financial year 2019/2020, the unit treated 8,882 patients of various mental illnesses and 478 in-patients. 

A 2016 study on alcohol use among adults found that the prevalence of alcohol use was highest in the northern region at 23.2 percent, followed by residents in the Western region at 21.4 percent, central at 18.5 percent, then eastern region with the lowest prevalence of 13.7 percent.

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