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Cough mixture abuse – a death concoction


By Derick Matsengarwodzi
 
The most testing part of caring for a sick toddler is administering medicine.
It is always a struggle, such that our African mothers would sometimes resort to chewing sour herbs and later dispose it into the mouth once the bitter taste had subsided. Little do children know that this process is necessary – it saves lives rather than curtail them? Instinctively, every medicine is bitter.

So toddlers will lock their lips, and lick with the tip of the tongue to taste, then they can swallow. Unless, the medicine is sweet, this procedure is always a bitter pill to swallow. With cough syrup, it is unusual. This syrup always comes in sugary form – it rarely encounters the aforementioned defy. As children mature, they can feign infection to ingest a remedy. Little do they understand the aftermath of an overdose?

So as a precaution, the medicine is kept out of reach of children. It only becomes a menace when they take medication for fun – it is a hazard when the lust is not cured by a recommended dose. Now I know why. Recently we learnt through the media about the rampant abuse of cough mixtures namely Broncleer and Histalix amongst our destructive youths. It explains why medicine cupboards must be locked – always.

Truckloads of the medicine are dodging border authorities from the South Africa into Zimbabwe laden with the illicit contraband. The load finds it destinations in the ghettos, where idle youths await with drooling anticipation. Its early morning in my ghetto – most inactive youths gather under trees. Meanwhile, boredom sets in. The gang will confer about possible interventions to eliminate the ennui. Amongst the possible cures is getting high but the costs of drugs are soaring and out of reach to many of them.

The discussion proceeds to raising contributions for a bottle of the illegal cough mixture pegged at $5, per container. That will surely exterminate the idleness. So that hunt commences. They will scatter in search for loose items to peddle from the house. Promptly, the gathering resumes. Their search has raised $3, almost enough for the morning blast. Surely their day will end on a high. In unison, they march towards the seller to purchase their morning order. Just like drug peddlers, purchasing cough mixture is by merit, only. It’s illegal – so no chances are taken. If you are a novice, chances of accessing the goods are eroded.

For total enjoyment and eliminating possible hazards, the cough mixture is poured directly into your throat. It must not interact with the teeth because it could be catastrophic due to codeine. Yes, the one spotting rotting teeth is a possible end abuser. Until this revelation, we have lost close friends to this scourge, so I shall write on. The rest of the day is spent sleeping or day dreaming. The constant abuse of cough mixture is a time bomb ticking to destroy our future generation.

Not only that, the violence and hallucinations soaring in our society could be directly linked to the direct menace from the medicine cupboard. The codeine contained in the mixtures has killed many. In our youthful days, we experimented with beer but we were naive of the mayhem a simple cough mixture could bring. How times have evolved. And how sick have we become? 

Where shall we locate the remedy to cure our multitude of sick youngsters? This goes to you before you take another gulp. Don’t invite sickness with a cough remedy. Safeguarded your life, don’t wash it away. Every drop is a concoction laced with death.

Derick Matsengarwodzi is a communication consultant and founder of The Aloe Media – a communication entity. An ardent researcher and media devotee – you can interact with him through: Facebook or email: derickmats@gmail.com or http://tinzwei.blogspot.com or http://thehealthoracle.blogspot.com.

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