The use of a pain relieving drug known as tramadol among residents of European Town, in the Sekondi Metropolis of the Western Region, for non-medical purposes keep increasing by the day.
The abuse of the drug, which is also a narcotic pain medication has spread widely among the youth of European Town, including some fishermen.
Investigations conducted by The Ghanaian Times revealed that, the drug is highly patronised by people, especially men between the ages of 19 and 45.
The Times gathered that, a high number of the youth in the fishing community including teenagers are addicted to tramadol.
A 32-year-old fisherman who pleaded anonymity stated that, he takes tramadol because it makes him work extra hours without getting tired.
He said the drug was introduced to him by a colleague fisherman about a year now and has since enjoyed taking it because of its supposed benefits.
“I could take four tablets at a go, just to make me work for longer hours without getting tired. I could even jump from a tall building and not feel any pain, In fact, I don’t feel anything, not even tiredness”, he said.
The fisherman, who seemed oblivious to the dangers of the excessive intake of the narcotic pain reliever, appeared elated about his “discovery” of a supposed antidote to tiredness and pain.
A source, who also pleaded anonymity, told The Ghanaian times that, a young man believed to be in his early twenties, died about six months ago, after taking several tablets of the drug.
He stated that, he couldn’t tell whether it was the excessive intake of the drug that killed him but all those who saw him, take the drugs the night before his death, blamed it on tramadol.
He said “the youth here need help, I don’t know what has come over them, apart from the excessive use of tramadol, some of them also mix a tablet called codeine with the soft drink Sprite and take just because they enjoy feeling “high”. Our young men are dying because of drug abuse and our ladies have turned into prostitutes, we really need help”, he lamented.
Apart from drug related crimes that is very popular in the area, which is located at the same place as the Sekondi Naval base, prostitution is also another worrisome issue because children as young as 14 and 17 years are seriously engaged in the act.
These vulnerable and naive teenagers take as low as GH¢7 to engage in sexual escapades with their patrons in kiosks.
When The Ghanaian Times visited some pharmacies located at the European Town to enquire about how residents patronised the drug, pharmacists were tight-lipped about the issue.
Later, The Ghanaian Times gathered that, the people usually get the tramadol from unlicensed drug peddlers in the area.
From Raissa Sambou, Sekondi