March 28, 2023

Tramadol is known as the poor man’s cocaine. We travel to Liberia and Ivory Coast, where we meet a drug dealer, a user and a doctor who tell us why more and more young people are taking the painkiller and are struggling with addiction.

Monrovia liberia the abuse of the painkiller tramadol is on the rise officially the synthetic opioid is only imported in 50 to 100 milligram pills but criminal networks smuggle in tramadol tablets three to five times higher in dosage those pills are then passed onto street vendors like henry kane the 19 year old makes a profit every day but then my business

Went down people foreign says he’s tried the drug and knows its effects but he’ll keep selling as long as there’s a market to live across town godwin tire sees the effects of this cheap drug on addicted individuals his group was its neighborhoods and small teams to meet users today they’re in buzzy quarters a slum community in monrovia people we’ve talked to

They’ve said that they abuse drug because they don’t have a job to do so in this regard we recommend the government to create a positive building that in itself will help young people from being idle the liberal regulatory authority should take a supervisory role in observing all those pharmacists selling pharmaceutical drugs in the meantime tai race group tries

To counsel drug users as best they can across the border in the ivory coast tramadol is known as the poor man’s cocaine young people use tramadol on a massive scale isuf a construction worker started using tramadol eight years ago and you take it before going to work maybe i always take it to go to work and how much did you buy it for a 600 francs for one 500

Francs equals about 75 euro cents if taken orally at high enough doses the opioid can produce a stimulating euphoric effect useful for long working days and to escape daily hardships tramadol is sold legally in ivory coast it’s an essential medicine used in hospitals and to treat chronic pain this pharmacist however suspects tramadol is often used for non-medical

Purposes being prescribed the demand was really high but people realized that we wouldn’t give it to them without a prescription most of west africa’s tramadol is manufactured in labs in china and india it is then imported legally and illegally to west african countries tramadol sold on the black market can come in dangerously high doses and can also be laced

With other substances about two years ago authorities in abidjan realized that they were facing a massive problems but the epidemic hasn’t stopped at abidjan’s blue cross clinic the number of young people who have experimented with tramadol worries doctors addicts are often brought here by relatives who can’t deal anymore with their aggression constant need for

Money or mood swings addiction comes very quickly is the type of drugs long-term consumption and highly concentrated tablets increase the risk of overdose and side effects like anxiety convulsions and trouble breathing but these arguments are not enough to stop esuf using tramadol the first time that first time i tried every day financial pressure recreational

Use and eventually addiction push young west africans towards the drug

Transcribed from video
Tramadol: The poor man's cocaine is sweeping West Africa By DW The 77 Percent