By Alika Gabriel
Foundation Against Drug Abuse – Ghana known as FADA-GH, youth advocacy and a non-profit organization with the sole aim of mobilizing individuals from all walks of life to effectively fight against the abuse of drugs among the Ghanaian youth through has embarked on a health education outreach and counseling services at the Navrongo Senior High School (NAVASCO ) in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
As part of the foundation’s mission of creating awareness on the negative impact of drug abuse on the individual’s health, the society and country at large, the CEO of FADA GH Mr. Alika Gabriel, who is a Physician Assistant student decided to tour both the Northern and Southern sectors of the country of to spread the message to the masses.
In view of this, the commencement of the northern sector tour was observed in NAVASCO where Mr. Alika together with some members of the foundation embarked on a health education programme.
It was also meant to give a health talk on drug abuse. The target audience were the students, teaching and non-teaching staff of NAVASCO.
In his speech, during the program, He talked on a wide range of subjects relating to the abuse of drugs touching on the term drug abuse where the emphasis was made on the drug called Tramadol which has become the most commonly abused drug today.
He had said Tramadol also is known in the market as Ultram or Ultracet, a prescription that relieves pain and is used for the treatment of moderate pain.
Its actions of mechanism in the body is characterized by the inhibition of the mu-opioid receptor and also inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
He made it clear that once an individual takes in a drug under no prescription thus usually self-medication leading to the misuse or wrong application of the drug, then the drug has been subjected to abuse.
Mr.Gabriel Alika , also made known to his audience the consequences or effects of abusing drugs where he stated that the effects of drug abuse can be classified into either long-term effects or short-term (immediate) effects.
He indicated that though Tramadol itself inhibits the mu-opioid receptor, it’s metabolites have a stronger affinity to the mu-opioid receptor leading to some desirable effects such as analgesia, euphoria, lack of inhibition, and mellowed effects.
Effects such as nausea, drowsiness, appetite loss, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating, and vomiting may also occur and these are classified as immediate effects.
He added that, if a drug user constantly practices the use of the drug over a period of time and develops resistance or tolerance to the drug, then the user in order to achieve the desired effects of the drug may subject himself or herself to an overdose or basically an abuse 9f the drug.
When this occurs, certain long term effects such as neurological toxicity which may result in comas and seizures, respiratory failure, mild cardiovascular disruptions leading to hypertension and tachycardia, and serotonin syndrome which is characterized by a marked increased concentration of serotonin in the synapses between neurons in the brain may be observed.
He also made mention of some general cause of drug abuse where he talked about curiosity, per influence, ignorance, over dependency, and among others.
The concerned campaigner also touched on the relationship between addiction and mental health where he made mention of the increased prevalence of substance abuse in patients reporting mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and also the experiencing of hallucinations while using or withdrawing from a drug presenting a more of a psychiatric crisis instead of addiction crisis due to overlapping symptomatology.
Mr. Alika further urged all individuals present to abstain from the use of unprescribed drugs and also the abuse of drugs while encouraging whoever amongst them already in the practice to put a stop to it in order to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
Before the FADA GH team left NAVASCO, they made sure a legacy was left behind. In this light, the senior girls’ prefect of the school was presented with a FADA GH branded attire and also the campaign ambassador on campus.
Source Modern Ghana