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Millions of Young Nigerians are High from Cough Mix

According to a report compiled by the Nigerian government, three million bottles of codeine are consumed every day in northern Nigeria alone. In a recent investigative documentary on codeine abuse in Nigeria, Africa Eye and BBC Pidgin brings to light, the plague of addiction, which has eaten deep into Africa’s most populated nation. Titled ‘Sweet Sweet Codeine,’ the documentary not only features the gruesome effects of the drug on millions of young men and women, it also reveals the illegitimate distribution and sale of the dangerously addictive sweet tasting opioid. With access to Nigeria’s crack anti-drug squads, BBC pidgin journalist Ruona Meyer, whose brother has struggled with cough syrup addiction, journeys to unravel the secrets of the syrup plague, exposing the criminals behind it. In the exclusive undercover investigation, Africa Eye exposes senior figures in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry who are smuggling legally produced products out of their factories and into the hands of drug dealers who sell this to the final consumer without a care in the world. Codeine syrup is sold in many heaving nightclubs of Lagos and on the ancient backstreets of Kano, not to mention the number of dealers scattered across the country, selling this drug at almost any time of the day.