Codeine is a cough syrup, but for some ladies, especially in the north, it is something else.

It makes them high, but the Senate fears this is abnormal and must be stopped.

To check the trend, the Nigerian Senate has asked the Executive Arm of government to end the ease of pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths.

Aside from Indian hemp and other narcotics, the Senate identified the intake of the syrup as another level of drug abuse that had become dangerous.

Codeine cough syrup and other prescription drugs have become a delight for its abusers across Nigeria, as they empty the entire bottle into their mouth in the quest of being high. 

These drugs are usually gotten over the counter without prescription.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, describes the trend as “the new cancer that is ravaging women and girls — specifically in the Northern part of the country".

The Senate wants the executive to partner with medical practitioners, traditional rulers, pharmacist councils and NGOs to create a framework for fighting prescription drug abuse.

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The Ministry of Health was also mandated to provide drug rehabilitation centres for drug abuse victims that seek help.

Additionally, the Senate Motion urged NAFDAC to embark on a vigorous sensitisation campaign on the dangers of drug abuse and steps on achieving a successful rehabilitation for people with the addiction.

On its part, the Senate Committees on Drugs and Narcotics and Health will come up with a legislative framework to deal with the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

There were also mandated to develop a Bill that will adequately deal with the problem and submit findings in 4 weeks.

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Seeking support of Nigerians in tackling drug abuse, Dr, Saraki said: "As we move forward, knowing that there are many experts out there, we hope to continue to receive feedback from all relevant individuals and groups on how best to continue to tackle this issue".

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