…The instreaming of drug itinerants and quack doctors in our streets and at the doorsteps, has orchestrated to a high incidence of drug abuse. It is worthy to note that, not only in our homes and streets that one catches a glimpse of quacks plying their trade, but also in buses and in “troskis.” Their ability to entertain an audience, their sheer eloquence and the testimonies given by various people about the efficacy of their drugs are enough to sway a sick person or the young person to buy what they sell. Also, worthy to note is the fact that their drugs are inexpensive and so people cannot help but use them without qualified medical doctor’s advice.
Another factor responsible for the growing incidence of drugs abuse especially tramadol abuse is peer pressure or peer group influence. In schools especially, students tend to be lured by friends who are into the drug ‘businesses’. A young boy addicted to drugs may convince a colleague to drink alcohol, sniff cocaine, smoke marijuana or misuse tobacco substances in the name of fashion. Some youngsters who are determined not to defile their bodies with drugs are alienated, scolded, and given provocative names like “kolo, john, anti-so”, etc. To escape these cat-calls and mockery, some easily give up into the advice of abusing drugs in the nick of time.
Interestingly, advertisement has for the past decades have been one of the powerful tools used to lure men to misuse drugs in this country. On the wings of advertisement, young people get carried away by thoughts of fantasy. They begin to feel that they would in no time, beam with smiles, confidence and appear healthy like the smiling confident looking individuals in the advert who have been provident enough to do the right things at the right time. Elegantly dressed and as men and women of high social standing too, they have almost always, compelled their audience to accept them as role models through the quintessence of eloquence and high sounding catchy phrases and slogans like “Marijuana, the heavenly weed that opens the twin doors of wisdom and prosperity!” “Adonko bitters, bitters of the moment!. Brukutu, Barima nsuo” and etc. Deceptive as their behaviours and speeches are, several thousands of young talented people are influenced into imitating their lifestyles and habits.
Curiosity is also one of the factors that accounts for the misuse of drugs. Most young are very curious to find out what is contained in certain types of drugs especially tramadol and other alcoholic substances. They see others happily indulging in drugs. Often times, they find men and women of high social standing smoking and drinking profusely. They irresistibly gross anxious to find out what makes other people indulge in these drugs.
Drug abuse has is attendant problems. Most prominent among them is that it usually impairs the health of those who become addicted to the practice. Quite often, habitual users of strong drugs like tramol, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol become emaciated and completely dehumanized. Predictably, this leads to premature deaths. Habitual drug users are noted to be drowsy, lazy and totally unproductive. Though they may eat a lot, they lack the strength and conscience to contribute to the growth of a country’s economy. In most situations, the illegal use of drugs leads to mental illness. A drug addict easily breaks down psychologically. The abuse of drugs such as marijuana, alcohol and tramadol provokes acts of violence. Those who misuse such drugs become fearless, aggressive, reckless and prone to acts of inhumanity. This, no doubt, disturbs social order.
To combat the drug menace, the following measures should be put in place. There is the need for a nationwide educational campaign, aimed at exposing every citizen to the dangers inherent in using un-prescribed drugs. As much as education is essential, it is equally important for the government to embark on a health revolution. In this respect, hospitals and well-equipped clinics should be established in all towns and villages in the country to give people access to qualified health professionals. As a matter of urgency, hospital fees must be reviewed to make them affordable to the common man. The National Health Insurance Scheme must be regulated enough to cover most hospital bills especially most medicines and laboratory tests which most patients find it very mind-blowing to afford. The government and the security agencies should not delay in waging a relentless war against users and traders of hard drugs like cocaine, tramadol and marijuana. Whenever they are caught, instant punitive measures should be meted to them. In addition, the government is advised to place a ban on the sale of the most commonly abused drugs in the country. Lastly, quack doctors and drug peddlers should be given proper training to enable them conduct their operations more efficiently and effectively. If not, they should be banned from carrying out their operations.
I hope the suggestions presented in this piece would be carefully considered to provide a lasting solution to this abuse of drugs especially tramadol (currently trending) in our country.
MLS Kelly Michael Agbesi