The Ghana Education Service (GES) believes it can win the fight against drug abuse if students at the basic level are aware of the side effects associated with narcotic drugs.
GES believes this can be achieved through continuous education.
This follows the banning of the sale of codeine-induced cough syrups and restricted access to tramadol induced drugs in pharmacies or chemical shops nationwide by the Food and Drugs Authority this week.
speaking to Citi News at an event to launch a book titled “end the abuse of tramadol” published by Adwinsa Publications, the National School Health Education Program Unit Coordinator for GES, Nana Esi Inkoom said that her outfit collaborates with the Food and Drugs Authority and Narcotic Controls Board to conduct regular education sessions for students.
“We also collaborate with institutions like FDA, narcotic control board to educate the students, to go round schools, sometimes we show pictorial effects to them so that they will know what happens to their brains,” he said.
In July, the Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Matthew Gyan Nkum said that his outfit was winning the fight against the abuse of Tramadol and other drugs in the region.
According to him, the Authority conducts regular unscheduled visits to the pharmacies in the region, sometimes undercover, and realized that many of the vendors were sticking to the rules on the sale of these drugs.
“Gradually, we are winning the fight, but we still have to do more. I can say on authority that if you go to the approved premises where drugs are being sold – over the counter medicine shops and pharmacies – it will be difficult to get it if you don’t have a prescription, you won’t even get it.
“We’ve tried, we’ve gone undercover, moving from pharmacy to pharmacy. Without prescriptions, it’ll be difficult [to get the drugs]. That tells us that we are winning the fight,” he said.
In March this year, there was a growing trend of Tramadol abuse among Ghanaian youth in some parts of the country.
Recent surveys have shown the drug is also used by market women, drivers, and in some cases, students.
The abuse of Tramadol, a pain relief drug, according to medical experts, functions like heroin and can cause psychotic problems as well as damage vital organs in the human body.