How Tramadol dey follow cause Boko Haram katakata

Men with weapons
Image example Maiduguri don dey for di centre of di battle against Boko Haram for years - but e dey also fight silent battle with drugs

Afta one BBC investigation for April show di kain wahala wey codeine addiction dey cause for Nigeria, dem ban di production of cough syrup wey get codeine inside for di kontri.

But codeine no be di only drug wey dey cause kasala across West Africa. Anoda painkiller, Tramadol, dey also cause dangerous addiction among youths - and as di BBC Stephanie Hegarty find out, dis drug fit even get hand for di killi-killi wey dey happen for north-east of Nigeria.

Wen Mustafa Kolo, wey dey 23 years take di red medicine, im dey feel like say im fit push tree. E dey do am like say im bodi no be im own again. E dey comot bad tins from im mind kia-kia.

"Wen I take am, I dey forget evritin," im talk.

"I bin dey take three to four wen I first begin to take am. But now I don reduce am to one or half,".

For dis town wey kasala dey happen, thousands of pipo dey addicted to Tramadol - di vigilante fighters, those wey war don pursue and even di militants demsef.

Image example Mustafa Kolo say di medicine dey help am wen im dey bush dey fight Boko Haram

Di cheap painkiller suppose dey used to treat small or serious pain, but like most opioids, e dey addictive - although nobodi sabi for sure how addictive e dey.

"Dis na really big problem," tok Marcus Ayuba, wey be head of Nigeria National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for Borno State,.

Oga Ayuba dey run drug treatment centre for Maiduguri, di state capital wia as im use count, one out of evri three young pipo dey use di drug - im believe say na war for di area cause am.

Im say wen im dey tok to pipo, dem go ask am say "wetin we fit do again? We just wan comot for dis world."

Image copyright Not Specified
Image copyright Not Specified
Image example UN dey plan to do research ontop Nigeria drugs problem later dis year

Boko Haram and Tramadol

One former Boko Haram fighter wey dey di hand of Nigerian army afta im run away for January say for four years, wey im live for forest camp, food or water bin no always dey- but say Tramadol bin always dey.

"Wen you dey go for military operation, dem go give you to take, or else dem go kill you," im tok.

"Dem tell us say wen you take am, say fear go comot for your bodi, say you go dey strong and get mind."

Di drug bin dey plenti, but as di Nigerian army begin scata dia camps, e come dey hard to see Tramadol.

Wetin be Tramadol?

  • Na Doctor suppose say make you take am
  • Na painkiller
  • E fit treat small depression or premature ejaculation
  • Tramadol dey only legally available as per doctor prescription for Nigeria
  • But reality be say dem dey sell am for pharmacies and for market across di kontri
  • Na for India dem dey do most of di Tramadol wey dey enta Nigeria
Image example Dem dey hide Tramadol inside oda legal medicine, BBC find out

Di UN say international criminal gangs dey smuggle Tramadol enta Africa from South Asia. For sub-Saharan every year dem seize more dan 300kg (661lb).

Fears dey say if dem reduce access to di drug, e go cut pipo off wey really need am: na one of di few painkillers wey dey available to treat pain for cancer patients.

But as long as e dey freely available di addiction crisis go continue. As e dey now, oga Ayuba fit only handle small of di cases wey dey face am evriday.

Image example Mustafa Kolo mama and papa no get money to send am for treatment

Though dem for like to, di mama and papa of Mustafa Kolo - di young vigilante - no get money to send am for treatment.

"I bin dey dream about grandchildren from am. Now, I see wetin I don lose," im papa tok.

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