As NAFDAC reclassifies Tramadol as controlled substance
By Patrick Ugeh in Abuja
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has lamented the increased illicit production of the hard drug, methamphetamine in Nigeria and Ghana in West Africa.
It also decried increasing cocaine trafficking estimated to generate nearly $900m in profit annually for criminal networks targeting West Africa.
In a review of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Report 2012 by the UNODC representative in Nigeria, Ms. Mariam Sissoko, trafficking in heroin and methamphetamine has been increasingly produced locally, particularly in Ghana and Nigeria.
According to her, the illicit manufacture, trafficking and abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants, specifically methamphetamine, which appeared to be confined to Southern Africa, had now spread to West Africa with the locally produced substance trafficked to East and South-East Asia.
Noting that Nigeria still lacked epidemiological studies on the extent of drug abuse, she announced that the UNODC would work with NAFDAC and NDLEA to address the low availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and many others pertaining to the complex issues of drugs and related organised crime.
She disclosed that this would be done in the framework of a project funded by the European Union.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who received the UNODC representative in his office said, the trend in drug use was shifting from injectable to oral drugs and inhalants.
He said NAFDAC was instituting measures to curb the abuse of codeine-containing cough syrups, Tramadol and other abused prescription medicines, including the national reclassification of Tramadol as a controlled substance.