Tramadol users turn to cough mixtures

Abusers of feared drug, Tramadol, in some places in the capital city such as Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Avenor, South Industrial Area and Alajo, have decided to substitute the powerful anesthetic with cough mixtures that contain codeine Weekend Today can confirm.

The shift in the drug intake, according to the users, has become necessary as a result of the move by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to clamp down on Tramadol sellers from Over the Counter Medicines Sellers (OTCMS) and other identified sales joints in the national capital.

Weekend Today’s investigations within the above areas uncovered that there were many ‘insane’ young and productive men and women who had lost contacts with their original families for several months, hence living in these areas as ‘refugees.’

And when Weekend Today feigned interest in their activities, they revealed that some of the cough syrups were even more hyper-dazing substances than the Tramadol.

For example, they mentioned Bella Tripple Action, Samalin Cough Syrup, Kofex, Viscof-D, Cofron Plus, among others as powerful cough mixtures.

When asked how they use it, they explained that “we mix full bottle of several milligrams of these cough mixtures with alcoholic beverages such as Guinness, Akpeteshie (local gin), hard liquors and bitters on the market so as to give the necessary reactions they need.”

Weekend Today further discovered that the cough mixture syrups, which are sold on the black market, were also being sold by these able-bodied young men and women to ‘get high.’

 

Weekend Today, therefore, observed that due to its high demand every corner of these communities where alcohol was sold, one could find these syrups on the counter.

A careful check on the labels on these cough mixtures showed some familiar elements such as ‘Chlorphenamine Maleate,’ ‘codeine phosphate,’ ‘Diphenhydramine hydrochloride,’ ‘ammonium Chloride among others.

And even though these medicinal elements are of different classes depending on their reactions in the body, Weekend Today further observed that Codeine and Diphenhydramine were not as active as the ones in cocaine.

Some of the users of the drugs told Weekend Today that “since most of the drugs they use were illegal they have therefore taken solace in the cough mixture since there were no existing laws banning their usage.”

One of the users who gave his name as James Lawson revealed that “when one is caught smoking ‘wee’ by the police, they collect as high as GH¢ 1,000 as bribe.

Another user, Yaw Owusu, said, “when we smoke ‘wee,’ after an hour we come back to normalcy but with cough mixtures they can daze us till the next day, which is very good for the body. It also helps prolong ejaculation.”

When contacted on the effects of the usage of the cough mixture, a pharmacist at Family House Pharmacy at Kokomlemle, Emmanuel Eshong, explained that when these cough mixtures are highly abused, the elements make the users feel some level of excitement.

 

Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH

Writer’s email: kofi.tawiah@todaygh.com

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