Prescription Painkiller Tramadol ‘Claiming More Lives Than Any Other Drug’

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Prescription painkiller tramadol, taken by thousands of people every day, is claiming more lives than any other drug – including heroin and cocaine – according to Northern Ireland’s top pathologist. The painkiller doesn’t cause harm if taken correctly, but the danger arises when users mix it with other drugs or alcohol…

Last year, 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were linked to tramadol.

Among them were a 16-year-old girl and a pensioner in his 70s.

I don’t think that people realise how potentially risky taking tramadol is.

I think it’s because it’s a prescription drug – people assume it’s safe.


The opiate-based drug used to treat moderate or severe pain should only be available on prescription – it was reclassified in 2014 making it an illegal Class C drug without a prescription.

But anti-drug campaigners say more and more people are turning to the black market.

Professor Jack Crane has spoken out to say he fears more people will die unless urgent action is taken and he is calling for a crackdown on the illegal market.

He wants tramadol to be upgraded again, this time to Class A.

Professor Crane is now set to meet Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer later this month to push for change.

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4 Responses

  1. Meg says:

    People unfortunately will figure out to abuse pretty much every drug out there. Face it, how many out there takes more than 2 Advil/Ibuprofen for a headache??? It’s a form of abuse … since you are in fact taking the prescription dose of the drug. People are hurting animals and then taking them to. A vet so they can get their Tramadol, which is a med to treat pain in animals. People are stupid. Stop blaming the drug – they have their purpose in certain situations.
    Stop blaming doctors, who less than a decade ago, were told to listen to their pt and medicate based on that. What about the person who go to the doc and say their pain is so bad – people do not like to be told that pain made now be an unfortunate, horrible fact of life People want a quick fix, or what they believe will be one …. I’m a RN, mostly cardiac, When you suggest to Pts that if they make some lifestyle changes regarding diet and exercise, quit smoking, get their blood sugar and triglycerides under tighter control will then ask you. “Is there just a pill, or surgery you can do …. he’ll had one pt want to know we couldn’t just give him a new heart? Seriously, with a new heart would a whole new level of drugs you’d have to be very compliant in taking, not to mention the cost and side effects that may cause cancer. He told me that would be a pretty good trade for him, so he didn’t really have to make that many changes. Drugs will always be a problem because people want to get high or whatever it is that they feel or get from their drug of choice. It’s just so incredibly sad. If there is any potential for people to abuse a med they will do it. Have a pt right now who doesn’t like the fact the doc is weaning her nicoderm patch down … she’s been an inpatient for just over 4 mos. right now she is dependent on a ventilator to breathe however her plan is that once she is better she wants to have a cig on her ride home from the hospital and yes she has a tracheotomy and will have it for some time. I’m not sure what her line of thinking is … the closer the entry point of the toxins in cig, then the quicker the rush, seriously. Is she planning on taking her next drag off a cigarette from her lips or is she thinking her tracheotomy might get her a bigger rush. What has happened to people. It truly saddens me.

  2. Genevieve Sheridan says:

    I was put on this and it affected my eyes, concentration, coordination, any kind of thinking, holistic function and i had to take myself off it when i started thinking self harm.

  3. William dixon says:

    My gp refused to prescribe this drug for my osteoarthritis arthritis

  4. For many years I was taking Tramadol,I started to bleed from my bowel,I stopped taking them 2yrs ago as they were most definitely causing considerably extree pain and bleeding from my bowel,I now have continual bleed,have had a heart attack due to anemia,and have lost 7stone,because I find it difficult to eat,I’m in the process of some.kind.of treatment,I think it is due to taking Tramadol,what do you think??

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