Tramadol: Risks and addiction

Drugs as prescribed and taken over the counter – ultimately, they are still drugs, and still addictive – and still not enough is told to people by doctors.

In a series of special reports, UTV looks at the risks surrounding the prescription painkiller tramadol, as leading experts call for it to be made a Class A drug and one addict – hooked since the age of 14 – tells how it ruined his life.

Prescription painkiller tramadol ‘claiming more lives than any other drug’

Prescription painkiller tramadol, taken by thousands of people every day, is claiming more lives than any other drug – including heroin and cocaine – according to Northern Ireland’s top pathologist.

The painkiller doesn’t cause harm if taken correctly, but the danger rises when users mix it with other drugs or alcohol.

Last year, 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were linked to tramadol.

Among them were a 16-year-old girl and a pensioner in his 70s.

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.

– Professor Jack Crane, State Pathologist for NI

The opiate-based drug used to treat moderate or severe pain should only be available on prescription – it was reclassified in 2014 making it an illegal Class C drug without prescription.

Read the FULL STORY . . .

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