Sunday 9 October 2016

Prescribed painkiller that kills more lives than heroin


Pain reliever Tramadol is considered to be the deadliest drug in the UK, according to a leading pathologist.

It causes more deaths than the likes of heroin and cocaine and should be upgraded to a Class A drug, Professor Jack Crane said.

The pills should only be available via prescription, but there is a growing black market for Tramadol, anti-drug campaigners claim.

Professor Crane, state pathologist for Northern Ireland, told ITV News: '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.'

Tramadol, an opiate-based drug used to treat moderate or severe pain, becomes dangerous when it is mixed with other drugs or alcohol.

Last year, 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were linked to Tramadol, including a 16-year-old girl and a man in his 70s.

In 2014, 240 deaths in Britain were linked to Tramadol, compared to 247 for cocaine and 952 for heroin and/or morphine.

However, Professor Crane fears the Tramadol death toll will continue to rise.

It has already been reclassified once, making it an illegal Class C drug without prescription, but he believes it should become Class A.



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