Zimbabwe’s Codeine Cough Syrup Epidemic

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1 min read

Zimbabwe is at risk of losing its youth to codeine cough syrup, as the addiction epidemic has already engulfed what the experts estimate could be over half the country’s young people. Despite the growing problem, Zimbabwe’s government has not yet opened rehabilitation clinics, meaning addicts are often sent to prison or psychiatric wards.

The cough syrup, often of the brand Broncleer, is imported illegally from South Africa, and is sold on every street corner, in bars, school yards and on busses for as little as $3 a bottle. We meet current and former users, as well as the NGOs pushing the government to open up rehabs, to find out why cough syrup has become the drug of choice for so many young Zimbabweans.

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