Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, Aug. 10, GNA - The National Youth Authority (NYA) has declared war on the abuse of Tramadol among youth in the country, as the world marks the 2018 International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12.
In this regard, a campaign has been launched a nationwide targeting the unscrupulous activities of some importers and peddlers of the pain relieving drug in the country.
With active involvement and support from the EIB network, operators of GHOne TV, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the campaign seeks to control the abuse of the drug, as well as identify and help rehabilitate those addicted to the drug.
Addressing the opening session of a youth summit organised by the NYA, Mr Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri, the Chief Executive Officer of the NYA, said very soon a national rehabilitation centre would be established in the country for those addicted to the drug.
Attended by more than 2,000 youth, ministers of state, Members of Parliament, traditional rulers, and representatives from state institutions and agencies, the summit would mark this year's IYD on the theme: "Safe spaces for the youth".
The IYD, instituted by the United Nations falls on August 12, every year to draw attention to the governing set of cultural and legal issues surrounding the youth.
Mr Asigri said the issue of Tramadol abuse has become not only a huge national concern, but a continental issue which requires concerted efforts from African governments.
He said the campaign would achieve useful results if stakeholders and all relevant institutions play active and proactive roles for intensified advocacy.
Mr Isaac Asiamah, the Minister of Youth and Sports, commended the NYA for the campaign saying Tramadol abuse among the youth remains a national crisis which requires urgent attention.
He said due to the harm being caused by the drug, it is imperative for the country to classify it as dangerous and harmful.
He affirmed his Ministry's determination to support the campaign by pushing relevant state institutions to declare the drug as a national health emergency.
Mr Asiamah urged the Food and Drug Authority and the Pharmacy Council to collaborate effectively and help control the sale of the drug.
Security agencies must also up efforts to clamp down on illegal peddlers of the drug in the country, he said.
Dr Nsiah Asare, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the combination of Tramadol and alcohol abuse has a serious health implication on users.
It could cause chronic headaches and heartaches, slow heart rates, infertility, sexual problems, drowsiness, depression and convulsions.
Dr Asare said though Tramadol is a prescribed drug, reduction in supply and high price for the drug would be an effective remedy to halt the abuse.
He also called on the legislators to pass a law that would not only reduce quantities of importation but also check and control the sale of the drug in society.
Mr Evans Opoku Bobie, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister designate, said the uncontrolled abuse of the drug among the youth remains a wake-up call among all stakeholders in the campaign.
Mr Bobie, who is currently the Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for Asunafo North, expressed concern on the rise of alcoholism, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity among the youth.
He expressed the hope that with the inauguration of the campaign, the youth would become more aware, exhibit a high sense of discipline and shun unhealthy lifestyles that would ruin their future.
Okokyeredom Sakyiako II, the Paramount Chief of Drobo Traditional Area, who presided over the event, said the youth is our future hence the need to address pertinent issues that affect their wellbeing and development.