General Secretary for the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Justice Duffu Yankson says the association is collaborating with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other appropriate bodies to crack the whip on abuse of tramadol.
The medical doctor and legal practitioner told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the use of tramadol should be based on a prescription and direction by a doctor.
However, the doctor said people are abusing the drug without any prescription and some pharmacies are selling the drugs to people even without prescription.
He also blamed the porous nature of our borders and the non-adherence to the use of prescription and dispensing of drugs which he lamented has brought us to this point.
Drug peddlers, bar operators and unregistered individuals are also contributing to the existing problems we are encountering today.
Dr. Yankson called for strict enforcement of the rules and appropriate punishment backed by proper intelligence and investigation to help resolve the challenges.
He stressed on the punishment for persons engaging in such illegality.
''Higher doses of tramadol and combinations speed up the negative effects and the nervous system is the part that is highly damaged,'' he warned.
''Persons who abuse tramadol have higher suicidal tendencies, seizures, respiratory depression, sudden deaths because it has suppressed your normal breathing,'' he said.
‘’You will also become an addict and if you do not take care, you will become a complete waste in society or will die. We need to wage a war against the abuse of tramadol so we can save the lives of our youth,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, the FDA has said it will leverage technology to help in the fight against tramadol abuse.
CEO of FDA, Delese Darko, has announced that starting in the third quarter of this year, the FDA will be rolling out a technology that will enable consumers to determine fake and unregistered drugs on the market.