Mental Health Authority (MHA) wants the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) to be allowed space to regulate the importation of tramadol into Ghana.
According to the authority, the Narcotic Drugs Law must be amended by Parliament to allow NACOB to play a supervisory role of the drug.
“Tramadol is a prescription drug and therefore licit, but the dosages we are seeing and hearing of must make tramadol necessarily come under the regulation of NACOB in terms of what can be allowed in the system.”
“The Narcotic Drugs Law in Parliament should be amended to include Tramadol among the list of drugs to be controlled by NACOB and to give stiffer punishment to importers of illicit or unapproved drugs, for in the long run, such importers are killers,” the Authority said in a statement signed by its Chief Executive, Dr. Akwasi Osei.
The statement was issued after a stakeholders meeting organized recently.
Tramadol is a pain relief drug, which according to medical experts, functions like heroin and can cause psychotic problems as well as damage vital organs in the human body if abused.
Recent surveys have shown that the drug is being abused by some youths as well as some market women, drivers and, in some cases, students.
The MHA, in the statement, further called for stiffer punishment for persons who import such drugs into the country since, to the Authority, “those who indulge in these substances become a threat to the society.”
“The relationship between drugs and crime is well known and it will not be surprising that armed robbers will put themselves on such drugs as Tramadol,” the statement added.
The Food and Drugs Authority had said it has tightened surveillance at the country’s borders and has also boosted public education.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH