Coughing is a reflex action which helps your body clear your throat and lungs.
I won’t attempt a guess at how many times you have had episodes of cough this year and how many times you have taken cough syrups … this one no be BetNaija and awoof no dey.
No problems though with taking a cough syrup if there is reason for it and when it is prescribed by a competent medical personnel.
Coughing can be caused by several conditions and a cough syrup in simple terms is a ‘medicated, syruplike fluid, usually flavoured and non-narcotic or mildly narcotic’ for relieving coughs or soothing irritated throats.
There are several types of cough syrups. Cough suppressants reduce the activity of the cough reflex and suppresses the urge to cough. They are also known as ‘Antitussives’.
Expectorants are used to treat cough with mucus (wet cough). They loosen the mucus making it easier to expel from the body.
The gbege is that the humble cough syrup don enter one chance. It is now widely abused especially by adolescents who want to get high or those forming big babes and guys.
Codeine which is a constituent of some cough syrups suppresses cough and relieves pain. It is ideally a safe drug but when taken in high doses can cause respiratory depression; hallucination and physical dependence. Death can actually occur.
One of the ways that people abuse codeine cough syrups is by mixing them into alcoholic drinks or non-alcoholic minerals and sodas, creating a dangerously intoxicating mix with several nicknames.
The most famous names are “lean,” “purple drank,” “syrup,” and “sizzurp.” These cocktails have been popularized by pop stars and deaths of some superstars have occurred.
It has also been occasionally added to energy drinks for the sole purpose of generating a high and creating euphoria.
One of the biggest dangers of codeine over time is that individuals develop a tolerance for the cough syrup. People who abuse codeine would regularly need higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect. The resultant effect would be an overdose with its deleterious effects.
In the Southern part of the country, it’s more of a party drink with codeine in an achohol or energy drink mix but in the North it’s drank straight as a cough syrup. Empirical evidence would suggest that as much as 3million bottles of codeine containing cough syrup is consumed daily in the two top Northern states leading to fatalities.
Several reasons have been cited for this increasing abuse . They include social pressures, peer group pressure, unemployment, misery, poverty, hopelessness and depression.
Efforts must, therefore, be intensified to restrict access to codeine containing syrups.
This is a tough order giving our lax laws and poor enforcement capability. Tough no doubt but it must be done for the sake of the youths who are the proverbial leaders of tomorrow.
Abeg , let’s join forces to deliver our children from CODEINE.