Dr Abayomi Olajide, a Psychiatric physician, has raised alarm over the menace of harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents in the country.
Olajide told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja that more youths were indulging in the consumption of heroine, codeine, tramadol and cannabis.
He called for urgent measures to arrest the ugly trend to prevent recording more victims of mental illness.
He said that this had become a major issue in many developed and developing countries, noting that it has led to risky behaviour of underage, sex, crime, violence and dangerous driving.
He called on health professionals, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and policy makers to join hands and fight the menace in a responsible and responsive manner that would not jeopardise the integrity of the society.
He said that the fight would ensure that the better health outcome of the population were affected, adding that it is imperative to help the young people mental resilience.
The medical practitioner also disclosed that mood disorder particularly depression was a leading cause of disability among adolescents.
According to him, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 to 29.
He said that promoting and protecting adolescents’ health often brought benefits to the society and the economy while healthy young adults were able to make qualitative impact to the workforce.
Besides, he called on parents and teachers to help build social life of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and school with needed counselling.
The expert advised against stigma and discrimination of people living with mental illness or taking alcohol and recommended employing love method to correct them.