Tramadol is a drug belonging to the group of drugs called opioid analgesics. It works by affecting the central nervous system to relieve pain. It is used to treat mild to severe pain, including post-surgery pain. It is known under several brand names, including Ryzolt, ConZip, Ultram ER, Ultram, and FusePaq Synapryn.
According to Northern Ireland’s top pathologist, this drug which is taken by thousands of people every single day claims more lives than any other drug, including cocaine and heroin.
As long as taken properly, this painkiller does not cause any serious side-effect. However, if combined with alcohol or other drugs, it may cause serious harm. As a matter of fact, up to 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were associated to tramadol last year. There was a 16-year-old girl and a man in his 70s among these people.
According to Professor Jack Crane, State Pathologist, “I don’t think that people realise how potentially risky taking tramadol is.I think it’s because it’s a prescription drug – people assume it’s safe.”
As mentioned in the very beginning, this drug is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It should be available on prescription only, and in 2014 was classified as illegal Class C drug without prescription.
Unfortunately, most anti-drug campaigners turn to the black market these days. Crane has admitted that he fears that more people are going to die unless any action is taken in regard to this. His goal is to see tramadol upgraded once again, this time to Class A.
This month Crane is going to meet Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer to ask for a change.