Tramadol Abuse: Counselor Urges Gov’t To Build Rehab Centres

Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health

The government of Ghana has been urged to help put up rehabilitation centres across the country, as the abuse of Tramadol and other opioids is on the ascendancy among the youth.

Prince Kwame Affum, a Counselor at Mokaff Counselling Centre in Sunyani who made the call in an interview with, observed that the youth who have been rampantly abusing the painkiller do so to overcome their fears.

“…From my interactions with some addicts (of Tramadol), it seems they are driven to use this drug due to fear. fear to socialize, fear of involving oneself in public events, fear of speaking one’s mind, fear of being rejected, fear of speaking in public, fear of not measuring up etc,” he said.

Counselor Affum mentioned fear as a “strong feeling” which can make one feel “insufficient, paralysed, incapable, worthless and weak”, saying that was the reason behind the abuse of Tramadol.

Counselor Prince Affum

“…In my experience as a Counselling Psychologist, I have had to help young people deal with addictions of sorts. Naturally people unconsciously devise ways of overcoming anxieties and psychological threats,” he noted as he stressed that people who found it worthwhile to suppress their fears with the painkiller were likely to stick to its usage for a very long time.

“Fear is neurotic trend that threatens the human well-being. In an attempt to overcome such threats, most young people without the appropriate guidance resort to the use of drugs.

“Unfortunately Tramadol seems to be the easy way out for most of these young people. Most of the youth who abuse Tramadol that i have spoken to claim its makes them feel confident and capable of doing anything,” he revealed.

Counselor Affum said if the escalating abuse of Tramadol is not properly tackled, it will increase mental health problems in the country within a shortest possible time and be a threat to national security.

“I strongly believe that as a country, we mostly wait for unfortunate events to happen before we take appropriate actions. We need rehabilitation centres across the country where people with addictions of sorts can be admitted and treated by psychotherapists and psychiatrists,” he said in his appeal to government, adding “If we would be able to overcome this problem as a country we need professional Counsellors who have appropriate resources at their disposal in High Schools.”

In the Brong Ahafo Region where the canker is rife, he said some religious groups like Mercy Centre had put steps to curb the menace, but called on all stakeholders to come together to clamp down the abuse of drugs.

He maintained that: “we need proactive institutions and policies about only administering prescribed drugs” and called on authorities to regulate “certain drug importations to help eradicate this cancer.”

Counselor Prince Affum’s call comes at a time that opioids are abused by adolescents, a situation health professionals have referred to as very dangerous for the country’s work force.


Story by: Henryson Okrah/