Abuse of pain killer “Tramadol” causes concern in the Upper West region of Ghana

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.

The common side effects of the drug include dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting and constipation. 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 members of the Wa Polytechnic chapter of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Students Association of Ghana, (Pharm-SSAG) adopted the Kperisi community in the Wa Municipality to create awareness about drug abuse as part of their annual Week Celebration of the Association which falls every May each year. The outreach program enabled members of the Department of Dispensing Technology of the Wa Polytechnic to educate people on the rational use of medicines within the region.

The 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 by the health education programme by members of the Polytechnic chapter of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Students Association of Ghana, (Pharm-SSAG)

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.

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