Opium versus Tramadol, the new drug trend

By Wendy Amarteifio
Opium versus Tramadol, the new drug trend

Ghanaian youth have now resorted to opium an emerging trend in drug abuse. The youth lace marijuana with opium, known locally as 'tie', for use.

Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug acquired in the dried latex from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seed pod.

According to media reports, the youth consume it to make them high. People who abuse opium claim the intake of marijuana and tramadol alone was not enough to get them high.

Experts say opium is more dangerous than tramadol, as it could cause mental illness.

Tramadol was another drug abused by the youth. The youth who abuse tramadol says it was necessary for them because, 

1. Tramadol helped them to last longer in bed. Young men, especially feel the need to satisfy their partners in bed. According to reports, young men take tramadol so they can last longer in bed.

2. Some young Ghanaians take tramadol just to stay awake to be able to do more, either at work or something else.

3. The youth abused tramadol because they said it energizes them to hustle and work hard has become very common among some Ghanaian youth is that they want to have more power to ‘hustle’ and work hard. 

4. People who abused tramadol used it as a substitute for ‘heroine’ or ‘weed’ to make them get high and feel on top of the world. 

Effects of Opium

-Opium, when abused, can alter the structure and function of the brain. Opium binds to the brain’s pleasure-enhancing and painkilling receptors to amplify these states. Continued opium use can cause the synapses, neurons, and brain cell shapes to change, leading to modifications in behavior. Opium can also create confusion, memory loss, hallucinations, and convulsions.

-Opium abuse leads to weakened immune systems, blood disorders, and fatal respiratory or renal failure. Fatal doses do not necessarily come only at higher tolerance levels; opium-related deaths can result quickly and easily. People who smoke opium are also subject to a higher risk of lung cancer and disease, and they risk damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys, other vital organs and the brain.

- Those who inject opium tend to become afflicted with vein damage, blood contamination and other common risks associated with intravenous drug use. 

-Opium abuse can lead to lifelong health complications or death due to respiratory system failure and not enough oxygen to the brain

Effects of Tramadol

-Studies have shown that using tramadol on its own can cause serotonin syndrome(Serotonin syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur when the brain is exposed to high levels of serotonin, such as that caused by drugs and medications that spike serotonin levels), though the risk increases among those who also use antidepressants, and illicit drugs such as cocaine, MDMA, and LSD. Common symptoms of serotonin syndrome include tremors, confusion, and muscle spasms.

-Tramadol use can cause a condition known as angioedema, or swelling under the skin. Though rare, angioedema can happen to anyone who experiences a severe allergic reaction to tramadol. One study found that tramadol can even cause massive swelling of the tongue and protrusion of the tongue through the mouth, along with swollen vocal cords.

-As one of the most common side effects of tramadol, insomnia poses a number of serious risks that can compromise your overall health and livelihood. Insomnia increases your risk for accidents, impairs your judgment, and doubles your risk for death from heart disease. Lack of sleep also disrupts your natural hormonal balance and increases the risk of depression, cardiac events, diabetes, and cancer. Research has even found that going without sleep for 24 hours produces effects similar to that caused by having a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.1%.

-Some people who use tramadol may experience a life-threatening allergic reaction to the drug known as anaphylaxis, which can occur as quickly as a few minutes after use. Hives, swelling, rash, difficulty breathing, and shock are common symptoms of anaphylaxis, though symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and fainting may also occur. Seek medical help immediately if you or your loved one suffers an instant allergic reaction after using tramadol.

-People who have a history of suicidal attempts and addiction are at far greater risk for suicide when using tramadol. In 2010 the FDA added a warning to all tramadol products advising doctors and patients about the risk of suicide when using tramadol. This warning was issued after the number of tramadol-related deaths increased in those with histories of drug use disorders and suicidal ideation.