The consumption of Tramadol in the country, especially among the youth, has assumed addictive levels. The alarm bells became strident following a frank and open discussion, Nana Aba Anamoah, had with some youth on live television.
Citi FM, had earlier in the year, done a comprehensive news item on the abuse of Tramadol. The report highlighted the growing appetite for the drug among a teeming number of youth, who obviously are oblivious of the dangers it poses to them.
Nana Aba Anamoah’s discussion, had set the social media alight and got Ghanaians, talking generally about the situation of drug abuse epidemic in the country.
It is often combined with paracetamol (acetaminophen) as this is known to improve the efficacy of tramadol in relieving pain.
Many users begin to turn to the drug to cope with physical pain and eventually emotional pain as well. It is also used to enhance sexual performance.
Although some people think the drug seems harmless, its contraindication ranges from drowsiness, agitation, headache, hallucination, itching, sweating, flushing and fever, fainting, infertility, impotence, sexual problems, constipation to blindness and respiratory failure. An addiction, may develop from continued abuse of the drug.
In November last year, the Food and Drugs Authourity (FDA) decried the increasing abuse of Tramadol among the youth and called for a conceited effort among stakeholders to curb the menace.
Mrs. Olivia A. Boateng, the Head of Tobacco and Substance Abuse, made this known at a training programme on Pharmaceutical Crime, Intelligence Gathering and Investigation in Accra.
Despite the calls in 2017 by the FDA, the abuse has been on the ascendancy. The pervasive opinion of this newspaper is that, as a country, we are not giving the problem the urgent attention it deserves.
If the current awareness and advocacy programmes to get the youth off the drug are not yielding any result, then the drug should only be sold at the hospital or clinic.
It is our considered view that, we are losing the fight and if urgent steps are not taking, we could have crisis in our hands.
Pharmacies and Chemical sellers’ shops will always break the rules; the drug will be sold to people without prescription, so why not ban its sale at these places.