Ghana has witnessed a startling rise in Tramadol abuse among the youth, who are the fibre of the country’s development.
The revelation compelled the Ministry of Health, drug regulators, media and civil society organizations to bring the situation under control.
Being the latest to join the campaign is a local publishing house, Adwinsa Publications. During the weekend, the organization released a book on Tramadol abuse at a ceremony at the British Council Hall in Accra.
The 68-page book titled “The Plight of Akimbu” seeks to highlight factors such as broken homes and irresponsible parenting as causes that expose children to drug abuse.
According to Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng,head of Tobacco & Substances Abuse at the FDA, Tramadol is usually prescribed to patients suffering moderate to severe pain.
She says drugs containing Tramadol are classified as “prescription only medicines” (POM). The approved dosage strengths for use in Ghana by the FDA are 50mg and 100mg in tablets and capsules, and 50mg/ml-2ml in injectons, but the youth who take it for recreational reasons abuse it.
However, people take Tramadol for extra energy and euphoria The drug is said to produce euphoria comparable to heroin even at a single dose of 75mg), staying alert for long hours.
According to him, he saw some videos of young boys and girls losing consciousness, experiencing seizures, some eating banku with water instead of soup because they were too intoxicated, numb and unconscious to recognize the taste of what they were having.
Mr Amponsah said after watching the videos he became motivated and passionate about saving the lives of the youths, leading to the launch of the book.
He believes there is still hope. The youth should be given another chance to build their lives in order to become the people who can change the nation.
“The Plight of Akimbu” is an easy-to-read account of Akimbu’s expedition from how he became a victim of drug abuse and how he changed to become an ambassador for the fight against drug abuse. He also has championed for children to say no to drugs.
Though copies of the books will be available at some selected school libraries in the country, Mr Aamponsah appeals to the general public to buy copies.