A consultant pharmacist who works in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, Dr Clever Okeke has again warned against Tramadol abuse.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, February 12, that using the drug to enhance sexual performance could cause convulsions and depression.
We’ve made a case as to why Tramadol is at the heart of Nigeria’s drug problem. Primarily a pain killer, it is now being abused for an euphoric high with many side effects.
“Tramadol belongs to a group of analgesics called Opioid Analgesics”, he said.
“It has a very strong analgesic effect which is used for strong or severe pains.”
“But you find that because of the opioid effect- the euphoric effect- which is one of the side effects, it makes the user feel high. The pain goes away but the euphoria remains,”
Opioid Abuse: The Nigerian Story
Tramadol is rarely recommended, but when it is, it is written in doses of 50 to 100 mg.
On the streets of Lagos and Kano, doses of 200mg are sold for as little as 200 naira by roadside traders, mostly young men, who pull them out of cardboard boxes held together by duct tape.
Porous borders give access to a population that hardly talks about drug abuse outside of moral conversations. A large young contingent was dry ground for tramadol abuse to catch flames in the early 2010s. Today, it has reached epidemic proportions.
If anything will ever be done about Tramadol, getting illicit drugs must be made much harder. It’s a problem across board.
Not just tramadol, everything else.
Some of the symptoms, like dry mouth, are common in most drug users. For tramadol use, Dr. Okeke advises parents to look out for prolonged sleep, hyperactivity or any irrational behaviour.
There’s an obvious culture of drugs use but it has barely become a serious conversation.
The closest we have come was on January 27, 2010.
A group of legislators in the House of Representatives, that included Hon. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar moved a motion on an urgent need to check the incessant abuse of syrup with codeine.
The motion expressed worry that many youths now consumed these syrups “as sedatives, drugs and stimulants mixed with soft drinks”.
Packs litter the streets of Wuse in Abuja but not much has happened since then.