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There were indications at this point that there was a concerted effort by well-organised groups some linked with organised crime and international terrorism to create a new generation of youthful tramadol addicts who they could manipulate and control in furthering their ulterior motives. Their target groups were teenagers living in slums and rundown areas and those in second cycle institutions.

A Libyan police officer views a haul of prescription drug Tramadol seized from a shipping container in Tripoli (Reuters/Chris Helgren)

Criss Jami argues in Killosophy that, “Deceit for personal gain is one of history's most recurring crimes. Man's first step towards change would be thinking, counter-arguing, re-thinking, twisting, straightening, perfecting, then believing every original idea he intends to make public before making it public. There is always an angle from which an absolute truth may appear askew just as there is always a personal emotion, or a personal agenda, which alienates the ultimate good of mankind.”

Finally, know your children’s friends and their families. Though our society has deviated markedly from the communal approach in child upbringing, we must not jettison the useful aspects of that approach of yesteryears. We should all be able to speak to other parents...

CONFRONTING THE NEW FRONTIER IN GHANA’S ILLICIT DRUG USE; THE ULTIMATE CONVERSATION WITH TOMORROW’S GENERATION

“Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” Neil Gaiman, in “M Is for Magic.”

Ms Delese Mimi Darko — CEO, Foods and Drugs Authority, Ghana

Theodore Roosevelt in Strenuous Life opines, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

In recent times, there have been many stories about the abuse of tramadol by some youth in Ghana. From kayayie to driver’s mates, through manual labourers and even armed robbers. Some are even said to use it to enhance libido and sexual drive.

Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually occurs within an hour. It is often combined with paracetamol (acetaminophen) as this is known to improve the efficacy of tramadol in relieving pain. It is a growing drug of abuse that is more addictive than initially believed.

 “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” Edgar Allan Poe.

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