Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Damien Punguyire, has expressed concerns over the increasing cases of opioid addiction among the youth and health workers in the country.
Though Dr Punguyire did not provide any statistics, he disclosed that some of the health workers engaged in this act have unfortunately lost their lives while others have turned into what he describes as “walking vegetables”.
Speaking at the 14th annual general conference of the Pharmacy Technicians Association of Ghana, Dr Punguyire asserted that all they spend their earnings on are opioids such as Pethidine, tramadol among others.
“Of late, there has been increasing prevalence of opioid addiction among the youth, particularly among health workers. Some have lost their lives through this addiction while others have largely remained walking vegetables, spend all their earnings trying to buy Pethidine, tramadol and many others”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of opioid overdoses has risen in recent years, in part due to the increased use of opioids in the management of chronic pain.
The United States National Institute on Drug Abuse also says the misuse of opioid can cause slowed breathing, which can cause hypoxia, a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma, permanent brain damage, or death.
Suraya Alidu Malititi /adwoaadubianews.com