INDONESIA – A wave of shock and concern has swept through the village of Mulyajaya in the Kutawaluya subdistrict of Karawang Regency, West Java, as almost an entire community was found to be addicted to a specific type of prescription medication.
The drug crisis, which had ensnared villagers ranging from children to the elderly, was abruptly halted when law enforcement apprehended two drug dealers.
The head of Mulyajaya village, Endang Macan Kumbang, had initially grown suspicious as he noticed unusual behaviour among a number of his constituents.
A subsequent investigation revealed that these individuals were consuming pills purchased from a local young man. “I grew suspicious when many of my villagers started acting strangely, and upon investigation, we found that they were consuming these pills on a daily basis,” Endang stated during an interview at the Karawang Police Resort Headquarters on Friday (11 Aug).
The shocking revelation unveiled those hundreds of villagers had developed an addiction to tramadol and hexymer, potent prescription medications.
The drugs were being consumed not only by youths but also by children and the elderly, raising concerns about the widespread and indiscriminate use within the community.
In response, Endang Macan Kumbang called upon the addicted individuals to gather at the village office for an open discussion.
Out of the hundreds called upon, 132 villagers responded. During the session, it was disclosed that individuals were using these substances to combat fatigue after work and to stay awake during school hours.
The efforts of the local authorities led to the capture of two alleged drug dealers: R, also known as Mantri Ableh, and an individual identified only as B.
The police seized a staggering 3,569 pills of hexymer and tramadol from these suspects.
The Chief of the Narcotics Division of the Karawang Police Resort, Assistant Police Commissioner (AKP) Arief Zaenal, confirmed the arrests and the ongoing legal proceedings.
The head of Mulyajaya village, Endang Macan Kumbang, shared insight into the situation, revealing, “This young man, Ableh, didn’t even attend school, but he was referred to as a health attendant. Since he started selling these drugs, villagers have called him Mantri Ableh, as the drugs were believed to enhance stamina.”
Endang further revealed that Ableh had marketed the drugs not only to young people but also to school children and the elderly, leading to widespread usage across various age groups in the village.
Following the arrests of the alleged drug dealers, Endang Macan Kumbang gained information about the extent of the drug consumption. “From their revelations, we documented a total of 114 individuals involved, ranging in age from 12 to 60 years old,” he disclosed.
In another recent operation, the Sanggabuana Team of the Karawang District Police apprehended three specific prescription drug (OKT) dealers in Karawang Regency, West Java.
The police seized 10,424 tablets of tramadol and hexymer during that operation. The perpetrators were identified as I, MR, and MW. They operated by distributing illegal prescription drugs under the disguise of a food stall to deceive authorities and residents.
“They disguised the distribution of specific prescription drugs as a food stall. Many people would buy food or have coffee there, which wouldn’t arouse suspicion among the local residents,” said Arief during a press statement at the Karawang Police Resort on Tuesday, 25 July.
What is tramadol, and why does it lead to widespread addiction? According to healthdirect.gov.au, tramadol is an opioid medicine used for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain and it is not usually recommended for the treatment of chronic (long-term) pain.
Doctors prescribe it when other pain relievers fail or are intolerable. Tramadol works by blocking pain signals in the brain. It falls under controlled substances and requires a doctor’s prescription and supervision.
Tramadol is available in oral tablets, capsules, and liquid forms. In the US, it carries FDA warnings of potentially dangerous side effects, as reported by Healthline.
Tramadol falls under the opioid category; hence its use is strictly regulated. This means it should only be taken under tight doctor supervision, considering its medical use, potential for misuse, and addiction risks if abused.
Cases of tramadol misuse are not uncommon; it can lead to addiction and even fatal overdoses. Therefore, the use of this strong medication should always be under a doctor’s guidance.