Bioethics News

Opioids: Sierra Leone’s Newest Public Health Emergency

February 14, 2017

(Aljazeera) – What was until recently a little-known prescription-only medication for treating chronic pain has in the past two years been at the centre of a rapidly expanding addiction crisis in Sierra Leone – a country with virtually no avenues for drug rehabilitation and which remains haunted by an 11-year civil war during which there were high rates of drug abuse among combatants. Propelled by a black market network of importers and sold cheaply under the table by private pharmacies, the problem has become so bad that in August 2016, Sierra Leone’s overwhelmed pharmaceutical regulators declared tramadol abuse a public health emergency.

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