Cough mixture abuse, a bitter pill to swallow
By Derick Matsengarwodzi
The most testing part of caring for a sick toddler is administering medicine.
It’s always a struggle, such that our 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 challenges.
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 menace 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.
Its early morning in my ghetto and most idle youths gather under mango trees, munching on the seasonal fruit to kill time, as they call it. In many homes, breakfast has been relegated to brunch, so it will be a while before the fires are set alight.
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.
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, 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.
Anyway, enough about the rules, let’s now learn about the drinking techniques. 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.
Moreover, who doesn’t know the taste of cough mixture? Their target here is maximum damage, that is getting high at all costs. Now you know, it is now easy to locate cough mixture users in your area.
Yes, the one spotting rotting teeth. By the way the mixture also comes in convenient sachets – katsaona for those short of cash. Now, it means every customer is satisfied. It’s a pity; our youths are losing their teeth before they attain maturity, if ever they do so. In addition, the abuse affects the stomach lining of abusers.
Until this revelation, we have lost close friends to this scourge, so I shall write on. You can call me Mafira Kureva, just like Winky D noted.
Why, I see our future being drained by a simple bottle of cough mixture. How his lyrics are apt to his target audience. In their hallucinated stupor, they dance to his beat.
“Ndiri kuona vechidiki vari kutora mushonga wechikosoro semvura,” goes an extract verse from the dancehall soloist.
After their fill they stroll back home.
It’s now time for food. If it’s not ready, there will be war at home. 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 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.
Gone are the days when cross border traders would take madhoiri and bring back home fashion, trinkets and groceries.
Today they return loaded with cough syrups to flush and dose away the young generation.
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.