CODE RED: How Codeine is Creating a Crisis Amongst Young Nigerians



“They will stay like this for weeks swarming with flies. No books. No television. Nothing. And still they keep coming”

An investigation by the BBC has revealed the dire straits of young people addicted to cough syrup containing the chemical substance codeine.

The video report released on Monday shows boys and girls, some as young as 16 years of age, confined by chains and looking dazed as they sit in rehabilitation centers recuperating from codeine addiction. It also shows a dealer from one of Nigeria’s most recognised pharmaceutical companies, Emzor, proudly boasting of his ability to sell off one million cartons of the drug in a week due to the availability of a market of addicts.

The report was led by the BBC’s Ruona J. Meyer following a five-month investigation, which is the first production of the BBC’s new segment called ‘Africa Eye’. Ms Meyer’s investigation highlights worrying statistics that have made news recently, like the over two million bottles of codeine syrup sold in Kano state alone.

The full documentary will be aired on NTA later Monday evening.


Featured image: Screenshot of documentary/BBC |Follow @inquizimedia on Facebook and Twitter

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