While a lot of attention is being paid to America's opioid crisis, it isn't just the United States that is dealing with a problem thanks to prescription painkillers. And there are parts of the world where thinks are even more grim.
Buzzfeed recently ran a large feature about the opioid crisis in Nigeria. The country, which is the most populous in Africa, sees people consume millions of opioid pills every single day. And while the United States of America has a vast network of rehabilitation clinics and government agencies to help people suffering from opioid addiction, Nigeria doesn't have nearly the same resources. So many of the country's addicts have no resources to help with their problems, and even the ones available are not adequate.
While the United States' opioid crisis is mostly due to the pharmaceutical industry, Nigeria's opioid crisis was caused by drug smuggling. The opioid tramadol is made in large quantities in southeast Asia, and is exported all over the world. While the United States is the largest importer of the drug, the second largest importer is Benin, a small Africa country that's one of the biggest drug smuggling nations in the world and also happens to be Nigeria's neighbor.
Tramadol isn't actually a very powerful opioid. While the drug does relieve pain, it doesn't provide nearly the same high as morphine, heroin or other potent drugs. Instead, many Nigerians mix tramadol with other drugs to help complement and strengthen their high.
Experts believe the opioid crisis in Nigeria is getting worse, and that the number of people abusing drugs could reach unimaginable numbers. Consider how hard it is for the United States to fix its opioid crisis, the richest country in the world with vast resources. Now how could you imagine a country like Nigeria, with only a fraction of the wealth and resources of America, do the same?
Check out the full Buzzfeed article to see how truly devastating Nigeria's opioid crisis has become.