It’s hard to understand the true scale of Nigeria’s drug problem from mere media reports. That is, until you learn of addicts hard hit by side effects of abusing pharmaceuticals like rohyphnol and tramadol.
Porous borders and ineffective law enforcement have provided the perfect environment for the proliferation of drugs in Nigeria. And among a medley of substances, one green pill you are certain to find is the opioid analgesic, Tramadol.
Tramadol is used in small quantities as a pain reliever. In large quantities however, it is one of Nigeria’s most commonly abused recreational drugs.
Users describe the high as a feeling of hyperactivity and heavy euphoria. The drug is also abused as an aphrodisiac, as one of its side effects is prolonging sexual performance among men.
However, for all the delight that can come with a high, Tramadol also has some nasty side effects, some of which are responsible for deaths among users, like the case of a young user who was killed after a overdose.
Here are some of the side-effects of Tramadol no one ever manages to talk about:
1. Physical dependence:
Using opioids over a prolonged period increases the user’s tolerance till they need higher doses to get high.
Along with this, users also become dependent on the drug when they use it for a long period of time. The human body adapts to the continued presence of the drug.
After a while, it requires the drug to function normally or in any manner closely resembling normal functions. If a user becomes dependent and stops taking tramadol, they suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms that can make them physically ill.
2. Cognitive Decline:
Opioids operate by manipulating hormones and brain functions to give the desired effects. However, constant use can affect the brain’s functions by fracturing nerves and synapses.
The resultant cognitive impairment makes it difficult for the user to think and execute complex tasks.
When participating in high-octane activity that require alertness, quick thinking and reaction, they often struggle and constitute a problem to themselves and others
3. Gastrointestinal Pain:
Constant tramadol use can irritate the walls of the stomach and intestine and cause severe gastrointestinal pain.
Like most prescription opioids, tramadol is consumed orally.
While the white powder is contained within capsules, recreational users often empty it’s contents into other additives to quicken its effects.
This often results in intense gastrointestinal pain, except when the drug has been consumed.