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Tramadol Abuse Makes Addicts Suicidal―FDA

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A Principal Regulatory Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Mr Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, has revealed that aside death being the gravest consequence of Tramadol abuse, tramadol addicts could have suicidal tendencies.

According to him, tramadol is only to be taken as medication for severe to moderate pains and should only be taken with the prescription of a medical officer.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Mr Hotor said any other purpose of tramadol intake is tantamount to abuse and could be detrimental to the health of the individual.

“Those who are mixing alcohol and energy drinks with Tramadol, we let them know the side effects, the harmful affects you can have on your human body and how it can destroy you.

“It leads to death and suicidal tendencies, it leads to loss of consciousness, slows your breadthening, depresses your central nervous system and damages the brain and internal organs,” he noted.

It is against this backdrop that the FDA has intensified its public education to ensure that Ghanaians are aware of the aftermaths of the abuse.

As the abuse and illicit entry of Tramadol continues to rise in Ghana, the FDA says it has joined forces with a number of sector agencies to control the illegal distribution and sale of the drug.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the authority has partnered with the Pharmacy Council, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Economic and Organised Crime Office, (EOCO), The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) amongst others to fight the menace.

“We are collaborating with the Pharmacy council because they are responsible for the practice of pharmacy and also with the health facilities regulatory agency which also registers pharmacies and chemicals and licensed medicines sellers. We are forming a task team in the next few days,” she said.

Mrs Darko said the task force would visit possible places that Tramadol is sold, adding that the team will also “visit chemical shops because they (chemical shops) would be obtaining some (of the product) legally, some as well may be obtained at places that we are not aware of.”

The fight she says, “has to be in collaboration with all the necessary agencies. It cannot just be each of us working separately.”

The FDA boss also revealed that plans were in place to control the influx of tramadol at an international level.

“…I was at the UN Session on Commission for Narcotic Drugs and I made a presentation of Ghana’s situation, to seek international acceptance or to seek for Tramadol to be controlled internationally because internationally it is not considered…we are bringing international attention to Ghana’s peculiar problem,” she said.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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