When medications become"drugs"

The administration of drugs for medical reasons is gradually not serving that unique purpose  again as more and more youths have taken to the consumption of such drugs for reasons other than medical. Such indiscriminate consumption has been spotted as a trigger to violence among young people. Most times, peer pressure and the need to belong or please ones' friends, are the push factors to drug abuse. To better understand how certain medications become used abusively, we met with Doctor Mboudou Mballa Côme Archange, Pharmacist at the Centre Médical d'Arrondissement (CMA) de Nkomo in Yaounde.

In what circumstances are drugs used in medicine?

Drugs (narcotic substances) are used in medicine mainly to treat pain: in particular pain that is not soothed by common analgesics such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, Diclofenac and others. Example of addictive substances: codeine, tramadol, morphine for the most known drugs.

Why do products used for therapy cause violent behavior?

These substances intended primarily to soothe pain become real drugs (drug abuse) when their use is diverted from the normal framework of their use. That is, not prescribed by a doctor, and taken in non-therapeutic doses (overdose in most cases).

How can we avoid bad companies or places where drugs are used?

To be on a safe side, it is important to follow the advice of parents and elders at home, in the neighborhood and even in school. Staying away from friends who influence you to make negative choices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, visiting places or doing things that are not in line with your principles is fundamental. You should not be pressured to do as your peers or accept what they could force you into becoming. Another important thing is to talk to your parents or any other elderly person you trust when you feel that things are not going the way they ought to be. If you have already fallen into the "trap" it is still okay to seek help so as to get healed.

Are there rehabilitation centers for young people who are already victims and dependent on drugs?

Yes, there is the Jamot Hospital in Yaounde that has a unit for the rehabilitation of persons who want to stay off of drugs. The patient is followed up accordingly. Sometimes, the family of the person is equally educated on how to help the child to heal and maintain it. It is recommended that the victim requests the help of  family or close ones to find a center or group where they can get the help needed to stay clean from drugs.

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