Much Ado About Tramadol

Tramadol was long considered a safer opioid. But as addiction to the painkiller sweeps across poor countries worldwide, its dangers have become abundantly clear.
 
In Mali, children walk the streets high on the drug. Nigerian officials say addiction there is more pervasive than HIV/AIDS.
 
But cracking down is complicated. The unregulated painkiller is ubiquitous in impoverished countries and conflict areas, fulfilling the need for pain relief where health infrastructure is weak. Easy access also means the drug is widely abused and has opened a market for dangerous counterfeits.  
 
“This is a huge public health dilemma,” said WHO’s Gilles Forte.
 
AP

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