Pharmacy council blames abuse of drugs on subsidies and easy accessibility

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The Northern Regional Manager of Pharmacy Council, Mr. Michael Anin Ameyaw has attributed the abuse of pharmaceutical products to accessibility, subsidized cost, and inability of the police to arrest people who possess the products.

Government, he said, has subsidized most of the cost of pharmaceutical products thereby making it cheap and affordable to abusers.

Outlining the side effects of Tramadol at a day’s sensitization forum for SHS students from second cycle institutions in Tamale, Mr. Ameyaw said it slows down the heart rate. The heart he said is responsible for pumping blood to the brain and as students they need the brain to learn.

He also disclaimed the notion that Tramadol enhances learning and advised students to avoid the abuse of drugs in general. The act he said will only destroy their lives and make them school dropouts. 

He pointed out that most regions and institutions lack professional staff because most of the youth are primarily interested in entertainment rather than developing themselves positively.

"As a dropout, you are denied certain opportunities in life," he added. 

Mr. Ameyaw said as part of efforts to curb the menace, radio stations, markets, lorry parks and schools will be visited to get the youth to stay away from drugs.

Quoting the law that regulates pharmaceutical products, the pharmacy council manager stated that “a person commits an offense if he or she is found to be in possession of restricted drugs without lawful authority," of which Tramadol and codeine are examples. 

He advised students to report anyone seen with drugs because anyone caught in the act will be made to face the full rigors of the law. 

 Drug stores he said have no legal right to sell Tramadol to anyone without a prescription, which unfortunately is the situation in the region and the country at large.             

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