Tramadol highlighted in drug control report

Tian Shengjie
Painkiller has become one of the main drugs in many countries and regions but the only opioid not to be included in the international drug control system. 
Tian Shengjie

Tramadol has become one of the main drugs in some countries and regions, especially in Africa, according to this year’s book of international drug control.

The book, an annual report focusing on management, trends and other drug-related issues, was published by the Shanghai Academy, Shanghai University and the Social Sciences Academic Press on Thursday.

Tramadol is a type of opioid used around the world as a painkiller since 1997.

Due to a lack of morphine, which is 10 times stronger than tramadol, it is widely used in Africa, the book says.

Because it is addictive, it is a controlled drug in many countries. However, it is the only opioid not included in the international drug control system.

In 2010, less than 10 kilogram of illegal tramadol was seized around the world but seven years later that had increased to 125 tons. The majority was imported from India, it said.

Many other kinds of new psychoactive substances are still major problems for anti-drug campaigns, especially illegal stimulants, the book says.

Only 48 kinds of illegal stimulants were found in 2009 but that had increased to 190 in 2017.

Zhu Hong, the book’s chief editor, said it is important to improve the punishment and control of crimes related to new psychoactive substances and enhance international cooperation against drugs.

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