Cough medicine concerns for cops

2018-10-23 06:02
The box of cough mixture police confiscated in Grassy Park last week.

The box of cough mixture police confiscated in Grassy Park last week.

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Grassy Park Police Station has called on the community to be alert to the behaviour of their children after police seized a large quantity of cough medicine in a recent drug raid where two men and a woman were arrested for possession of and dealing in drugs.

The three suspects were arrested in Seventh Avenue on Monday 15 October after officers followed up on information received of cough medicine and dagga being sold in Seventh Avenue.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith says officers found 57 small packets and one medium bag containing dagga, which police say has an estimated value of R1300. Police also found an imitation firearm. The suspects, aged between 22 and 49, also face charges under the Pharmacy Act as Kleinsmith says they do not have a licence to be in possession of the amount of cough medicine found in their possession­.

Kleinsmith adds that in October last year, while visiting a crime scene on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Kleinsmidt Street near the open field, Captain Ashley Petersen found several empty cough syrup bottles.

“This to the police is a clear indication that scholars are using this medicine. This is of concern to us as it was found next to a high school. This medication contains codeine and is not a prescriptive medication. It’s freely available to children who mix it with Sprite and other cooldrink. The effect this medication has on children, when used with other substances, could have an effect on their liver, kidneys and maybe other organs inside their body [and] this could be detrimental to their life and wellbeing. According to information gathered, when consuming this intoxicating medication, it puts you on a high,” she says.

The mixture, referred to as “Lean”, “Dirty Sprite”, “Sizzurp” or “Active”, is said to suppress respiratory function and according to drugabuse.com, side effects from continual use could include dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, memory problems, dental decay, constipation, weight gain as well as urinary tract infections­.

The police reiterate that parents need to keep a close eye on their children and if they suspect their children to be under the influence of non-prescribed medication, to take them to health professional to be tested.

“We further plead with pharmacies not to sell this non-prescriptive medication to children and to ask for an identification document when purchased.”

V Anyone with information on crime can call the police on 021 700 3940 or Crime Stop on 0860 010 111. All information will be treated as highly confidential.

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