Saturday, December 19, 2015 12:22 pm
Drug addicts in Kano, Nigeria’s largest city in the north used to get their kicks from Cow gum or the Benilyn cough syrup. But now they have found another drug to satisfy their addiction: Tramadol hydrochloride.
Tramadol, which comes as Ultram, Ultram ER, Ultracet, ConZip, Ryzolt, Rybix ODT), is a narcotic-like pain reliever and is linked with drug abuse.
“Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take tramadol in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose”, says www.drug.com, about the medicine.
“Seizures (convulsions) have occurred in some people taking this medicine. Tramadol may be more likely to cause a seizure if you have a history of seizures or head injury, a metabolic disorder, or if you are taking certain medicines such as antidepressants, muscle relaxers, narcotic, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.”
In Kano, the poison is now the medicine of choice for its army of addicts, with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kano State command, moving to stem the flow.
Of recent, the NDLEA discovered large consignment of the drug at the popular Sabongari market in Kano.
Mr Mitchel Ofoyeju the agency’s spokesperson said two warehouses were found to have stockpiled 7,639.7kg of the drug. That is the weight of at least 100 people.
One trader, identified as Gerald Ohuruzo, who has been convicted had 1,369 kg of the drug in his warehouse, busted by operatives of the agency. In another raid of a warehouse, the agency found 6,270 kg of the drug, said the NDLEA state commander, Hamza Umar.
“Justice F. O. Riman of the Federal High Court, Kano sentenced the patent medicine dealer, Gerald Ohuruzo, 42, for drug abuse. He pleaded guilty to dealing in psychotropic substances and was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment on Dec. 14.Justice Riman however, gave Gerald an option to pay N450, 000 fine.”, reported Ofoyeju.
“Sequel to the discovery, the Kano State command has commenced a holistic operation to drastically reduce cases of drug abuse.”
The statement quoted Mr Hamza Umar, NDLEA state commander as saying, “NDLEA has started total clean up operation geared at reducing cases of drug abuse to the barest minimum.
“Our investigators are working towards a safe and drug-free society,” he said.
Hamza said that the command had arrested 94 suspected drug traffickers in November.
“The drugs included 247.715kg of cannabis, 6,270.677kg of psychotropic substances and 6.6grammes of cocaine