Drug Abuse in Ghana: Causes, Effects & Solutions

0
105

Written by MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Obviously, one of the ills plaguing Ghana today is the misuse of drugs specifically tramadol, and other forms of substances which are either poorly regulated or banned for use in the country. Like a strike of light to a petrol or a smoker puffing cigarette smoke in the sky, illegal use and abuse of drugs has engulfed our society so much that most of these young men and women are suffocating to death under its intense canker.

It is in the light of this unfortunate situation that I’ll carefully examine the menace, causes and effects of using the unprescribed drugs and suggest ways to ameliorate it.

First and foremost, any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body’s function either physically and/or psychologically is referred to as drug. (Wikipedia 2018). Drugs may be legal (e.g. alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) or illegal (e.g. cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin).

For the crux of my discussions, tramadol abuse by the youth in recent times has become very important for national and for that matter international attention.

What is tramadol?

Tramadol (or “Tramol” as called locally) is an oral tablet and a prescription drug that is available as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. Tramadol is a controlled substance. This means it can only be used with a doctor’s close supervision.

Why is it used?

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This substance can be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works!

Tramadol belongs to a “class of drugs” called ‘opioid agonists’. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. It works by changing how your brain senses pain. Tramadol is similar to substances in your brain called “endorphins”. Endorphins bind to receptors (parts of cells that receive a certain substance). The receptors then decrease the pain messages that your body sends to your brain. Tramadol works in a similar way to decrease the amount of pain your brain thinks you are having. (https:/www.healthline.com/health/tramadol-oral-tablet).

Drug (tramadol) abuse is firmly rooted in the following factors. In other not to “cry the wolf”, the limited and difficult access to healthcare delivery in Ghana contribute to the abuse of the substance of play (Tramadol). Young people, especially, those living in the countryside, have no or little access to the various health facilities across the country.  The little available ones are nothing to boast of, due to the poor regulation of the facilities and inefficient accessibility by the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme (which is to regulate medical health-care for the citizens in Ghana. These occurrences makes it very difficult for them to have the opportunity to consult a qualified health professional in moments of sickness, trauma or injury.

Citizens placed on such happenings would only have to rely on “tramol” or any other substance readily available in their surroundings. After all, if there is no qualified health professional, a quack doctor or a chemist’s shop is nearby. What a pity!

Added to this are hospital bills which tend to be unaffordable. The lay person walking on the street is incapable of receiving quality health services in the country. No seer to predict the increasing cost of medications and all kinds of health services provided in the country’s hospitals.

The most disturbing is the embarrassment caused to the poor sick person. Though I do not have evidences to prove to the fact that sick people have to pay money before they could see the doctor but I believe this is one of the many reasons they stay in the corner and kick the bucket slowly but painfully. Is it any wonder for such poor people to shy from high cost medical care and resort to tramadol or street peddlers or buy from a chemist’s shop at a low cost?

Quite prominent among the use of tramadol by young people is the desire of most of them to enhance their performances in various fields of human behaviour. For instance, these young people use tramol and other unprescribed substances to enable them do physically challenging activities. Most of them who are students erroneously believe that some ‘special’ drugs like tramadol would give them the required fitness, strength and mental alertness to improve their performances in the tracks, academics and ability to ‘last long’ in bed.

MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi

Keywordz19@gmail.com

0243075464

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

one × one =