Home Health Codeine epidemic sweeps Nigeria

Codeine epidemic sweeps Nigeria

Thousands of young people have become addicted to the cough medicine codeine

THE ILLICIT trade of codeine in Nigeria has become a pervasive street drug that is used among many young people.
BBC Africa Eye investigated the ease and accessibility of the new craze that is readily accessible from pharmaceutical companies and sold onto the black market.
The opiate, which can be deadly if taken in large quantities, can lead to physical dependence of the brain and body when a person becomes so used to the substance in their system.
When the drug abuse is stopped suddenly, withdrawal symptoms often force the body into a state of shock where addicts can be seen to shake profusely and even initiate mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia.
The covert footage showed drug abusers chained to the ground at a rehab centre in northern Nigeria, which was a measure that was taken to prevent them from being violent.
A sales representative from the main supplier Emzor Pharmaceuticals Ltd, was also caught on a hidden camera as he bragged over the extremities that addicts are willing to take to get their hands on the syrup.
He said: This is a product I know if I have one million cartoons, I can sell it in a week. You known drug addicts. When an addict comes and there is no money, he wouldn’t mind dropping even the key of his motorcar just to satisfy that urge immediately. It’s a paradise.”
The longstanding crisis was recognised in December 2017 by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) when they held a #SenateTacklesDrugAbuse roundtable.
Nigerian politician Bukola Saraki was seen to commend the action of the PCN as he wrote on Twitter: “My colleagues and I will continue working to provide the necessary legislative interventions to fight #DrugAbuse across the nation.”