High Incidence of Tramadol Abuse In Northern Ghana

Tramadol hydrochloride is one of the group of medicines called centrally acting analgesics which are used for the relief of moderate or severe pain. Tramadolis one of the drugs that falls under Opioid Analgesics which are reserved for managing moderate to severe pains and comes in the form of syrup or capsules.

Information gathered from drugs.com and Wikipedia indicates that, opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects. Some drugs classified as opioid analgesics include morphine, cocaine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl. It also include antagonist drugs such as naloxone and endogenous peptides such as the endorphins.

Primarily, opioid are used for pain relief, including anaesthesia often used to suppress cough, diarrhoea, treat addiction, reverse opioid overdose, as well as suppressing opioid induced
constipation. Extremelystrong opioids are approved only for veterinaryuse such as immobilizing extremely violent animals or largemammals.

It is often applied on accident victims, persons experiencing trauma and excruciating pains, however, it should be used upon recommendation by a clinical pharmacist or drug expert in view of its negative side effects. Someside effects of opioids may include itchiness, sedation,nausea respiratory depression, constipation, euphoria and even death

Dependence will develop with continuous use, requiring increasing doses and leading to a withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt discontinuation.

The euphoria attracts recreational use and escalating opioids usage may typically results in addiction.

Accidental overdose or concurrent use with other depressant drugs commonly results in death from respiratory depression. In recent times, the use of tramadol in particular by some youth
in Northern Ghana and other rural centres in the country for pain relief has become rampant.

(Kperisi community)

It has now been established that drug abuse is on the ascendancy in the Upper West Region among all ages. And one particular drug that has been identified as a leading drug in terms of abuse is Tramadol, an oral tablet meant to moderate severe pains in the human body.

Tramadol is supposed to be taken under doctor’s monitoring and supervision. However any attempt to subject the drug to constant use precariously leads to addiction which can result in death in some situations.

This observation came to light when a group was worried about the abuse of Tramadol by people within the various age brackets in the region. It was observed that many abusers of Tramadol drug do so with intentions not connected to the required prescription by a doctor and in the long run expose themselves to all kinds of dangers. The commonest use is the use of the drug as sexual performance enhancing drug especially within the Wa Municipal. The current use of the drug has assumed an alarming rate within the region hence the adoption of the
Kperisi community in the Wa Municipal area for sensitization is much needed.

Speaking at the community sensitization program, the Acting Regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council, Mr Latif Agyei-Wiredu observed that most users of the drug unknowingly consider it as performance enhancing drug saying that “The stimulating effect of the drug is like that of heroin and cocaine which makes people “go high” and
feel like they are on cloud nine with precarious consequences”. Members of the association later conducted health screening and counseling session for
the people of Kperisi community.


©Guba Inspires


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dr Sandra Obeng says:

    I don’t honestly know why people will endanger themselves and risk these long term complications. The Abuse must stop! Bravo! to the bold step made by MoH on their effort in putting up a “red flag” on regulating some of these drugs. But it’s not enough! Pharmacy Council should work as hard. Thank you Guba Inspires for the advocacy. God bless You!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. gubadunstan says:

      Thank you for your input. Let’s push this together!


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