TAKING TRAMAL, TUTOLIN [+ CODEINE] …AND OTHER THINGS!

Tramal

Last week, I went to my village.

“Is there any serious problem with me taking Tramal regularly? At least, I am not taking weed!”, a neighbor, a 300 level Civil Engineering student asked me. I smiled. I knew what he wanted to hear. And, I told him what I know.

Nowadays, abusing Tramal (Tramadol), Tutolin (and other Codeine-containing cough syrups), as well as, (Rubber) solution, Sleeping pills (like Diazepam/Valium), Cannabis (weed/ganja), and other similar stuffs, is quite a common thing. People, especially youths, start out with the first try, thinking to themselves, “just a little; I know I could stop anytime I want to”. But you don’t say that to these highly-addictive drugs substances!

However, the individual will notice that he is gradually increasing the dose/amount of the substance he abuses. This is because he is beginning to tolerate the substance, and would be needing increasing amount of it to give him the same “high” or “slow” he usually experiences .

After some time, the individual becomes physically dependent on these substances. That is, the body gets used to the chemicals and depends on it to be stable and function properly. Then, the person will not feel normal until  he has taken the drugs/substance. He begins to have “withdrawal symptoms” if he doesn’t take it after a long time.

There are many problems in this short story! Here are a few:

  • Some of these substances are drugs used for treatment of certain disease conditions, say, involving pain, or cough, or sleep problems. These drugs would no longer be effective for the treatment if one develops these medical conditions.
  • These drugs and substances have side-effects that may become serious and life-threatening, as seen in over-dose and when taken in combination with other drugs or with alcohol. Some people, all of a sudden, start convulsing; they start hearing voices (others don’t hear) and seeing things and people (others don’t see). Guess you know what “our people” call that!
  • These substances are “psycho-active”. They affect the brain and the mind. The person becomes prone to psychiatric disorders, and accidents. The reasoning, judgement, and decision could be affected. The person’s behavior changes, usually gradually, and often unknown to him. The effect would become gradually evident on his finances, work, academics, love-life, religious activities, etc. Things begin to go wrong!
  • All drugs, even the ones doctors prescribed, become poisons if taken at the wrong dose and amount. Drug addiction and substance abuse/addiction leads to high amount of these chemicals in the body systems. This causes damages to several organs in the body including the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain. This is deadly!
  • You lose freedom. You become subject to chemicals. It may, eventually, mean you watching, helplessly, with both eyes wide open while some “solid, liquid, or gas” steal away your money, your friends, your family, your usefulness … and, maybe, your life.

Personally, I choose otherwise.

Live. Laugh. Love. Leave a legacy.

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!