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How Tramadol and Benylin are abused

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Tramadol is a pain reliever and it has to be prescribed by the doctor before it is taken. But this has changed because a lot of people take it without prescription, at times using overdose. This drug is mostly taken by commercial motorists. They find it normal as it relieves pain, thereby taking overdose to be more energetic.

The youths are also guilty of overdose because, they buy it over the counter. Even in some commercial buses this drug is sold. They use it to enhance their sexual ability and get high. A lot of people who take this drug do not read the prescription. Most times they are recommended to them by friends, people who are not health workers.



Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain, mostly recommended for orthopedic patients (that is people who have broken bones).



– Some take overdose of Tramadol to get high

– Some take Tramadol to enhance sexual ability

– Some take Tramadol to become very energetic, e.g working round the clock without getting tired.

– Some young adults crush Tramadol into powder form then inhale it.

– Some use the crushed powder form of Tramadol, dilute it with liquid and inject into their body.



Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, which could lead to death. It’s advisable never to take Tramadol without doctor’s prescription and stop when you are asked to stop because it can become addictive. Never crush, break, or open an extended release pill.

Convulsions, vomiting, fainting have occurred in some people taking this medicine.

Others are:

– Abdominal or stomach fullness

– Abdominal or decreased touch sensation

– Blisters under the skin

– Serious weight loss

– Bloating

– Blood in urine

– Blood pressure increased

– Blurred vision

– Change in walking and balance

– Chest pain or discomfort

– Darkened urine

– Dizziness or lightheadedness when getting up from lying or sitting position

– Fast heartbeat

– Frequent urge to urinate

– Indigestion

– Loss of memory

– Recurrent fever

– Shortness of breath

– Yellow eyes or skin

– Loss of consciousness

– Unusual feeling or excitement


ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with some medical practitioner on the abuse and effect of this sedative.


Doctor speaks.


Dr. Olumide

Do you prescribe Tramadol to people?

Yes, Tramadol is normally taken for serious pain e.g arthritis, bone injury, etc.

What are the side effects of prolonged use?

When prescribing such drug, I normally remove it from the pack and put it inside a dispensing zip lock, because a lot of people will buy it over the counter and continue to use it. Prolonged use of Tramadol can damage the liver and may lead to death.


Benylin with codeine is indicated for the relief of persistent, dry, irritating cough. Codeine syrup which ordinarily should be sold to patients based on doctor’s prescription are now sold by owners of small shops. Codeine is primarily used to treat mild to moderate pain and to relieve cough.

It is also used to treat diarrhea and diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome. In Nigeria, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned pharmaceutical shops from selling cough syrups, particularly codeine to patients without doctor’s prescription, but some small shop owners still find a way of sneaking the product into customer’s hand who are willing to pay more.

The drug was sold at about N200 but because of the high demand, it has increased to about N900 to N1,000 depending on the area it’s being sold.

Young boys and girls are willing to pay more to get the drug. Findings revealed that these young people mix it with drinks, punch, Chapman, etc. Youth should be careful of taking mixed drinks in parties, as they are mixed with Coke, Sprite, Fanta.

Codeine has become a favourite for many drug abusers because it is easy to obtain. Young people drink overdose to get high.

Codeine contains diphenhydramine and therefore may mimic the effect of alcohol and other CNS depressants. The effect of overdose may include drowsiness, hyperpyrexia and anti-cholinergic effects, excitation, hallucinations, convulsions may appear.

With massive dose, come or cardiovascular collapse may follow. It may also cause respiratory depression.



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