DRUG ABUSE UNIT
PROFESSOR ANUMONYE DRUG ABUSE TREATMENT
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH UNIT (DATER)
There was an unprecedented rise in the prevalence of alcohol and drug related
problems in the country by the mid-eighties. This was evidenced by the increase in
the number of drug related admissions in many of the treatment hospitals and by the
phenomenal rise in the number of drug related offences particularly that of trafficking
The Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, rose to this challenge quite early on by establishing
the first drug abuse treatment unit in Nigeria in 1983. Dr. J. D. A. Makanjuola, a one
time the Director- General, Federal Ministry of Health & Social Services was the first
psychiatrist to manage the centre. The centre marketed a complete departure from
the hitherto practice of treating drug addicts alongside mentally disordered patients
within the same wards.
The centre was named after Professor Amechi Anumonye as Amechi Anumonye Drug
Abuse, Treatments, Education and Research Centre in honour of his contributions to
the problem of drug abuse. The centre provides training for drug abuse personnel
and undertakes research in alcohol and drug abuse problems. The unit was reorganized
in 1990 and the treatment programme modified and broadened by the current
Consultant-in-Charge of the unit Dr. (Mrs.) T. A. Adamson.
The treatment modality is based on the disease model of alcoholism and other drugs
of abuse. The disorder being regarded as a chronic one requiring long term
commitment. The unit operates a modified from of both the Minnesota Model of
treatment and the Therapeutic Community models (TC). The modifications
incorporated into the programme cater for the socio-cultural differences between
the Nigerian patients and their oversees counterparts where the treatment modalities
are mostly in use. Treatment inputs include Group Therapy, Counselling, Drug
Education, Relaxation Therapy, Spiritual Therapy, Twelve-Steps, Bibliotherapy, Ho
seat, Family Sessions and others.
While admission to the unit is contingent on the patient meeting the strict admissio
criteria, staying in treatment is contingent on the patient’s ability to abide he
rules/regulations of the unit. Treatment period varies between 3-9 months as it is tailored
towards the individuals re
rehabilitation programme. The T
response and on the completion of a successful
before the patient’ s discharge from the Unit and it is part of the effort to
Twelve-Steps programme is commenced siix wee
long-term relapse prevention of
tenets of the Twelve-Steps of the Alcoholic Anonymous.
of patients discharged from the unit. It is based
The low-up period after the patient has been discharged from the DATER Unit
or 2 years and it is based on the individual attending the Drug Out-Patient Cli
monthly during the period. Researcl studies on the programme and on alcohol and
other drugs of pendence roblems continued to be carried out and have impacted
on the programme over the years.
The Unit, since its inception, has been able to help many individuals with alcohol and
other drugs of abuse problems. It is hoped that it will continue to offer treatment and
education to ameliorate the distress of the chemically dependent individuals and serve
as a nucleus of major research effort in the fight against drug abuse.
Admission Criteria to DATER Unit
Admission to the Unit is on a voluntary basis as patients are required to sign a contract
admission form before being allowed into the Unit.
Patient-must show no evidence of any psychotic symptoms.
Patient must sign the contract form after agreeing to abide by the rules and
Patients cannot be visited within the first two weeks of admission. Thereafter,
patient can be visited by’ relatives but not siblings or friends except if cleared
by the therapeutic team.
The Therapeutic Team in the Unit consists of Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Social
Workers and Occupational Therapists. Each member of the team can engage patients
in discussions, interviews, counsel-ling, filling of forms and other various tests.
Part of the treatment includes investigations to exclude associated n
and problems drug abuse might have inflicted on the patient’s liver, lungs, blood and
Investigation associated medical problems her organs. These tests include LFT, HIV, Mantoux, Chest X-ray, full Heamatocrit other organs. and others Ward Programmne
The ward program includes Group therapy, Educational Sessions, Counselling Sessin tion
Library and Journal session, Patient’s story and Feedback, Twelve-Steps, Relaxari
Exercise, Spiritual Therapy, Mu-sic Session, Individual, Family and Marital Therapy
indicated, In/ out door games and other recreational activities
Rules and Regulations for DATER
The residential stay of patients is based on whether “he/she” can, abide with the rules
and regulations of the unit. Appropriate sanctions or learning experiences are meted
out for any rules contravened. Repeated rule contraventions result in mandator
discharge of the patient from the unit. Some of the rules include:
Non use of alcohol or other drugs inside or outside of the Unit. Patient must
also not solicit or trade in them.
Patient must not leave the Unit during his/her stay except on permission and
in company of a member of staff.
Patient must not be violent or hostile (physically or verbaily to themselves
or to any member of staff.
Only responsible adults are allowed as visitors to the Unit and even then
they have to be screened.
Privileges are given to patients once they have been earned.
This is done for residents prior to discharge. The resident is put on “Hot Seat” and
other residents and the therapeutic team provide feedback on his behaviour in the
unit. In addition he is counselled on aspects of his life requiring change. The session
is recorded on cassettes and a copy given to him. He is thereafter observed for 2
weeks before leaving the unit.
This is usually two weeks after “Hot Seat” After Care
Post discharge visit takes place 13T Thursday of every month for two years after which
the patient is discharged from follow up.