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West Africa’s love of Tramadol

Manufacturers of the synthetic opioid Tramadol – which is marketed under many different names – are cheering, as they have found a new market.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) it’s become very popular with suicide bombers in parts of West Africa, where it is the pill of choice for the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

The UNDOC says that seizures of Tramadol – which can legally be prescribed for pain relief – were 600 kilos in 2013, but are now running at three tonnes a year.

Picture source: Deviation56