Introduction to Opioids
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Opioids are psychoactive chemical substances that have been known to reduce feelings of pain. They are a class of drugs that have been implicated in depressing the central nervous system and causing several physical and psychological reactions including numbness, inducing sleep, hyperactivity, drowsiness, mental confusion, nausea, euphoria as well as constipation. The commonest examples of opioids are tramadol, heroin, morphine, codeine, etc. The main reason for Opioid use is for therapeutic purposes. However, the use of Opioids has also been widely implicated in increasing energy and libido. It is also used as a coping mechanism against pressure, the impact of post-traumatic stress, poverty, crime, etc. The indiscriminate use of opioids is usually associated with overdose, addiction and withdrawal. This study focuses on the incidence of opioid use in Nigeria that has become an epidemic in all regions of the country. In addition to being an active component of cough syrups, Codeine and tramadol which are the predominant types of opioids in Nigeria, have been reported to be a leading cause of health implications and fatality amongst Nigerians, cutting across religion, gender, age, social and educational backgrounds. Due to their availability, ease of accessibility, relative affordability, and the euphoric sensation they cause, Codeine and Tramadol have been tremendously used indiscriminately. There are recorded incidents of fatal overdose and adverse interactions between opioids and other drug classes such as Indian hemp. The addictive ability and the resultant antisocial behaviour, fatality and potential health implication poses Opioid use as a threat in the society. This menace has therefore incited the government to put measures in place to enforce the reduction in Opioid use.
Keywords:Codeine, Nigeria, Opioid, Tramadol
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