A new government policy has reclassified the Tramadol drug from class A to narcotic. This means that the production, consumption and trade of Tramadol requires special permission in Ghana. This decision by government has placed Tramadol and codeine a category of the narcotic drug family in the country. The decision is to help reduce the consumption and access to the drug which many youths in the country are currently abusing.
According to medical exports, both Tramadol and codeine are pain relief drugs. Its abuse can cause psychotic problems as well as damage to vital organs in the human body, and many surveys in Ghana have shown that the use of the drug is being abused by many youths.
Speaking to Skyy News, Head of Pharmacy at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital Mr. Yaw Okyere Apenteng indicated that, the use of the drug has reduced drastically. Although he had no statistics to back his claims, Mr. Apenteng, who is also the Western Region Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, tells us access and abuse of the drug has now been reduced. He says special permission is needed from the Food and Drugs Authority before the above can be performed.
“The awareness creation on the drug has been largely successful, and currently the awareness is still ongoing especially in the western region, and the youth are out main target. No research has been done to access if the usage has been reduced but the government has also brought up some policies which we think has helped in actually reducing access to the medication, currently, it is a policy that Tramadol and codeine has been reclassified from just class A to a narcotic drug. If a drug is narcotic, what it means is that it requires special permission to be able to import or manufacture it. So that policy direction is really helping because anybody cannot just wake up and import Tramadol, you need special permission from the appropriate quarters to do so”, Mr. Apenteng indicated.