Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pantang admits more people with substance and alcohol abuse

The Pantang Hospital recorded an increase of 88 percent in the number of patients admitted for substance abuse between 2007 and 2008.

According to Mrs. Anna Dzadey, acting Medical Officer at the Hospital, the number of patients admitted for alcohol abuse increased by 43 percent during the period. She said total Outpatient Department (OPD) attendance this year was 28,101 made up of 11, 995 physical and 16,106 psychiatric cases. She indicated that given the increasing number of alcohol and illicit substance users, the Hospital might expect more clients with addiction problems seeking help in psychiatric hospitals.

“We are prepared to help patients, but it should be the primary concern of policy makers to address this need as soon as possible. The World Health Organisation report in 2002 indicated that four percent of the global burden of diseases and 3.2 percent of all deaths were attributed to alcohol. Yet we see alcohol being prepared and sold almost everywhere and even young children can buy it without a problem,” she said.

According to Mrs. Dzadey, patients referred to the Hospital by court for observation, evaluation and treatment were often forgotten by the authorities and they became a burden on the Hospital. She noted that the Hospital had 121 patients who had been on admission for more than two years, 70 percent of them without any traceable families.

Mrs. Dzadey said the Hospital would establish a special ward for the rehabilitation of patients with substance addiction problems, as well as intensify the activities at the Department of the Rehabilitation of Chronic Patients

In a speech read on his behalf, the acting Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Daniel Yayemain said even though brain drain in the health sector was still a problem, mental health workers continued to show a high level of commitment. Mr. Sory, the Director General of the GHS noted “mental health workers throughout the country have demonstrated that it is possible for all health workers to put in an extra effort when the right kind of leadership is demonstrated.”

Adapted and sourced from Leticia Ohene-Asiedu Daily Graphic, Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Study compares Twelve Steps with various treatments

Researchers comparing types of treatment for various categories of alcohol-dependent patients found that encouraging participation in Alcoholics Anonymous was more effective than other therapies for those whose social networks supported drinking.

Twelve Step Facilitation Therapy (TSF) in which the goal is to help bring about patients' active participation in AA, was compared to Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and Cognitive Behavioral Coping Skills Therapy (CBT), in a study of 952 patients during the year following outpatient alcoholism treatment. Researchers said that in prior studies, a network support for drinking predicted negative drinking outcomes for treatment-seeking clients.

For those clients, "receiving a treatment with the goal of decreasing support for drinking or increasing support for abstinence will be effective in improving subsequent alcohol treatment outcome," researchers wrote. The study, sponsored by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, appeared in the January 2008 Journal Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

"Individuals assigned to TSF have greater subsequent AA involvement compared with those assigned to CBT or MET, and it is the AA involvement that leads to better drinking outcomes by buffering the negative effects of social networks supportive of drinking. Involvement in AA Fellowship exposes a person to a network of people who have a goal of sobriety and who support one another in achieving this goal," they wrote.

Source: National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
AA Grapevine July, 2008

AA Grapevine

Founded in 1944, the AA Grapevine is the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous. Written, edited, illustrated and read by AA members and others interested in the AA program of recovery from alcoholism, the Grapevine is a lifeline linking one alcoholic to another. Widely known as a "meeting in print," the AA Grapevine communicates the experience, strength and hope of its contributors and reflects a broad geographic spectrum of current AA experience with recovery, unity and service.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

AA Ghana (click to open website)

AA Thought for the Day (click to open website)

Thank you lettre for 16 Dec 2008 event

Dear Mr. Adsaxo, Mr Agbeko, Mr. Amegashie, Mr. Anim, Dr. Asare, Mr. Asiedu, Mr. August, Mr. Darkinson, Ms. Darpaah, Mr. David, Mr. Doe, Dr. Dordoye, Ms. Esinam, Dr. Helga, Rev. Lartey, Ms. Mensah-Kufuor, Rev. Obli, Mr. and Mrs. O’Laughlin, Ms. Poku and Dr. Sefa-Dedeh,

For those of you who are unaware, the following is a communiqué to persons who attended a meeting on 16 December, 2008. The event was attended by twenty-five persons and was held at Hopeful Way House in Oyarifa, Accra, Ghana. The purpose was to bring together medical professionals, heads of nongovernmental organisations and individuals interested in addiction and recovery in order to increase collaboration and compliment each other’s work.

First, let me thank you for attending this long awaited event. Our meeting held at Hopeful Way House was fruitful in that participants not only demonstrated their willingness to collaborate but proposed initiatives by their organisations for the upcoming year. Second, I am grateful to you for providing me with your emails. There are two reasons why I asked for your contact information. One is the contact/email list will be sent via email so that participants are able to communicate with each other regarding their efforts of increasing collaboration and complementing each other’s work in the field of alcohol, addiction and recovery. The second reason is the following. Hopeful Way recently created a blog. A blog (Weblog) is a website where persons can write entries, reflections, comments and add material to an online journal. A blog may also have links (hyperlinks) which open other pages which may list other pages on the Web where additional information can be found on the topic(s). The purpose of the Hopeful Way blog is to provide a forum where participants and other interested parties can communicate and post information on their efforts. Questions may also be asked on the blog. Please inform other interested persons about our blog. This lettre and our report from the meeting will be the among the first posts. A further purpose of the blog is to provide interesting and current articles and information concerning all aspects related to alcohol, drugs addiction and recovery. In order to access the blog open the following webpage: Once again, I sincerely thank you for attending and wish you a Merry Christmas and fruitful New Year.

Theresa O’Laughlin
On behalf of the Hopeful Way Foundation