Faizel Patel - 10-02-2020
A journalist has told Radio Islam the misuse of cough syrups containing codeine has sparked public debate on whether the pharmaceutical industry should regulate the sale of such medicine in South Africa.
Codeine, which forms part of the opioid family, is a prescription pain medication used to treat mild to moderate pain.
When misused and mixed with fizzy drinks, it is transformed into the lean concoction, a tasty and lethal recreational drug.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Power FM Journalist Nkosinathi Shazi says codeine mimics a heroin high.
“This means that codeine is somewhat of an anti-depressant which means it calms down all the nerves and in essence you become a zombie. So none of your nervous systems are active or aware. Everything just is calm.”
He says there needs to be discussions about whether to regulate codeine or not.
“If we do, yes we may stop the misuse of the product, but if we do regulate it, what will happen to the ordinary South Africans who are looking for cheap and viable options to treat their general health.”
Shazi says the youth are addicted to codeine because of the taste and its accessibility.
Listen to the interview with Nkosinathi Shzi