20 Nurses, Clinicians, Trained to Handle Substance Abuse Disorders

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Beneficiaries posed with facilitators following the certification ceremony yesterday

…They’re scheduled to write exams today

About 20 health professionals, including mental health clinicians, registered nurses and social workers have completed a 10-month training course that taught them how to better deal with substance abuse disorders.

The Liberia Center for Outcomes Research in Mental Health received a grant from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) to address addiction among young adults.

George Murini, program manager for the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program in Africa, said the training is a universal treatment course that prepares health professionals to offer holistic, comprehensive and integrated treatment. Mr. Murini served as the training lead facilitator.

The trainees, Murini said, will write an examination today, Friday, and those who pass successfully will eventually become addiction specialists, to intervene in the situation of persons with substance abuse disorders.

He said thereafter, the beneficiaries will return to their various facilities, to serve as a trainer of trainers for their co-workers who did not attend the first training courses.

Mr. Murini added, “I have been informed by Liberian professionals that they are treating people for heroin, cocaine, tobacco and alcohol abuse.”

He expressed gratitude for the level of cooperation he received from the beneficiaries, and conveyed the hope that they will in turn train many other people across the country, as well as give attention to substance abuse disorders while administering treatment.

Tetee Nimely, one of the beneficiaries from River Gee County, lauded the facilitators for building the capacity of the participants, to address addiction and treatment for substance abuse disorders.

“We have learnt a lot for the past ten months, and I think we are more prepared to assist others to treat persons afflicted by substance abuse disorders, because our society needs to empower health practitioners,” Ms. Nimely said.

A product of the Smythe Institute of Management and Technology, Mrs. Nimely said the issue of drug addiction must not be taken lightly and hoped that stakeholders will focus on capacity-building.

Unfortunately, there is no specialized addiction treatment center in the country that offers evidence-based treatment for persons with substance abuse disorders (crazy people).

The E. S. Grant Mental Health Hospital, the nation’s only psychiatric clinic, provides limited treatment to persons with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

The high demand for treatment and the limited bed capacity at the facility results in only a small proportion of persons in need of addiction services being served.

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