‘Cough Mixture containing codeine should be controlled’



Few years ago, most discussion around drug abuse by Nigerian youths centres majorly on cocaine, cannabis or heroine but the trend has suddenly changed. Nowadays, many Nigerian youths and even adults have now resulted to abusing certain drugs that contain Codeine, Tramadol and others, which should be mainly taken on prescription. An interview with a Superintendent Pharmacist with Taylek Drugs, Mr. KOLA ADEJUMO reveals some dangers and long-term effects of drug abuse by the users.

Cases of drug abuse have been on the increase among Nigerians, especially youths, are you not perturbed?

I am seriously worried about the ugly trend of drug abuse in Nigeria. I am personally disturbed by the increasing rates of drug abuse among our youths over the years.

To me, drug abuse is the act of taking a drug without any medical supervision. The drug abuse is the inappropriate use of drugs. Taking a common Ampiclox capsule without any doctor’s prescription is an abuse of the drug. It can also be termed as use of drug without any medical prescription by any medical practitioner.

The most rampant is the arbitrary use of cough mixture containing codeine, which is ready-made drug that are being abused generally these days.
Benylin with Codeine or any other cough mixture containing codeine has the capability of slowing them down. Many people now visit pharmacy for Benylin with codeine.

And government is not really looking at it as a potential danger on the health of the abusers. The reason some people abuse drugs is just because many of them place themselves on all these narcotic drugs like cannabis, cocaine and heroin and they feel on top of the world. They take these codeine related drugs to slow down the effect on them because it has a way of calming them down. It has a power to neutralize the effects of their cocaine, heroin, cannabis and causes a kind of drowsiness, which leads them to sleep. The drug is meant to neutralize the stimulating effects of the cocaine or cannabis they have taken.

What are the long-term effects of this drug abuse?

When they continue to abuse these drugs; it becomes an addiction, which might eventually lead to psychiatric problem after a while.

How do you think government can help check this?

Government needs to do more in educating the youths on the abuse of drugs and its effects. I also think government should include study of drug abuse into educational curriculum in our various schools. Public enlightenment should be done Bus stops, garages, and other public places. Although NAFDAC is trying, they need to up their game.

Enforcement is another area Government should look at and strengthen. Many people still buy cannabis and smoke it openly. Though NDLEA is trying in this regard but they still need to do more.

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