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Health News of Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Source: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie | Ultimate Radio

Drivers abusing narcotic-like drug Tramadol

The National Road Safety Commission says it is alarmed about the use of Tramadol, a narcotic-like painkiller, which is being abused by some commercial drivers who work for long hours particularly at night. The Commission is thus cautioning drivers to desist from the abuse.

Officials of the NRSC in the Ashanti Region say a research conducted by the commission has shown that a considerable number of commercial drivers in the Ashanti Region and elsewhere, are abusing the drug.

Tramadol is a narcotic-like analgesic, used to treat moderate and severe pain. Tramadol is a drug that must only be used per the prescription of a physician and cannot be taken when an individual has taken in alcohol, other sedatives or any narcotic medication within a certain time frame.

The abuse of the drug by commercial drivers seems to be gaining grounds, according to the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the National Road Safety Commission, Thomas Bismarck Boakye.

“For the past two months, we have been researching into what is actually is causing these commercial vehicles to be crushing repeatedly, and we realized that some drivers are depending on certain drugs specifically Tramadol. They buy them from the pharmacy and chemical shops. Tramadol is for several pains, but they add certain concoctions and drink in order to work harder. They also mix it with brufen and energy drinks”.

“It’s a capsule but they open it and pour it in the energy drink. In fact, I have interviewed several drivers and they have confirmed taking this. Some drivers on these drugs drive carelessly and they are often sweating and doing wrongful overtaking on the road.

A Pharmacist at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Hospital, Anthony Gallo, told Ultimate Radio drivers must desist from the use of the drug as it has severe consequences and can seize one's heart from beating.

“Tramadol is a narcotic analgesic. It is basically used in pain relieving, when other pain killers are not able to help. It has typical side effects of narcotics. I heard they even used it with alcohol and that makes it more dangerous because alcohol has a depressive component and Tramadol also has the same component. The side effect of Tramadol is that, when you use it as a driver, it affects your ability to react to situations properly so it’s dangerous for drivers to use it” he noted.

“It is very dangerous to be used by drivers. There is something in the drug that could suddenly cause the user to collapse because your respiratory sector in the brain can be depressed so if you are somebody with the risk of asthma, you can worsen the situation if you take it.

In a country where accidents rate are extremely high, stakeholders must indeed to be concerned about such abuses and nip the practice in the bud.

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