Zimbabwe’s Codeine Cough Syrup Epidemic

come on so many people are Indians every tiara is down we’ve got a generation to use if the government does not step up [Music] the streets of Harare are full of brown cough syrup bottles a sign of the addiction epidemic currently ravaging the country particularly affecting young people I ain’t got no Missy I’m so good let’s I’m really know that yeah I’m 2016 I started drinking from T so Bedell could take something like four bottles and friends of yours I wasn’t myself I want someone else buy something else the cough sir often of the brand wrong clear contains codeine an opiate that can be used as a painkiller it’s relatively harmless in small doses but can be highly addictive from clear also contains alcohol so when you drink a lot of it it will make you feel both drunk and high in large quantities it can lead to respiratory problems dangerously low blood pressure and permanent damage to the brain heart and liver like I did it because of my friends and I like if you don’t do this I won’t play with you and you start doing it afterwards you you think it’s a bizarre way of life my mother is a widow when she doesn’t go to work so some of the times when we get these jobs you have to go and get some money and bring it home to pay some food since my house I stayed there with my five children my mother of five with my son unfortunately we didn’t pick it up because it was in boarding school my son he’s the quiet type we couldn’t really notice a change in him until last year you know you would come home you would on that couch he’s holding a plate in his hand in your speaking team and is not responding that is what Bron clear does he even went to a stage where he started taking things and selling there maybe two to buy or he is Berkeley or whatever he was taking then yeah a lot of things my laptop cell phones even food she went to that extent one time even run away from home he was not staying in the streets doing these drug things the economy’s in ruins 90% of the population is without formal employment and families are plagued with poverty and addiction back in the 1980s Zimbabwe was prospering but former dictator Robert Mugabe run the country into the ground he was ousted in November 2017 and in July 2018 the country held its first democratic election in four decades but people are still feeling consequences of Mugabe’s 37 year rule we drive to the slums of luffa cosa an impoverished area in the outskirts of the capital here we meet fate he works as a music producer will come from was this is my ghetto when he was younger he lives on the streets and was addicted to bronte today he’s trying to help his friends who are all stuck in a vicious cycle of cough syrup dependency some of my ghetto youths they don’t go to wake as you can see that that’s what they take that’s funky four years ago the government outlawed the sale of bran share the illegal import of the cough syrup especially from South Africa has continued and it’s very easy to get your hands on a bottle even a young child if you ask you what is this bottle he or she can tell you that this blonde key everyone is selling even on the shops there there’s a lot of people were selling these things fatal takes us to the local marketplace to show us how cough syrup is being sold and used on the street for the sake of these guys maybe they don’t find their place to be to the outer so we get into the bar they somebody just come in drinking anything you see soon we’re surrounded by young guys drinking Bron clear [Music] don’t let this is the guys are already high when you drink a lot of cough syrup every day it can cause your teeth to rot and fall out so to protect your teeth they pour the liquid directly into their throats [Music] our long to subside so you feel something like 20 minutes it’s awfully then you need another addition the main reason which makes us to distract this guy with unemployment you don’t have things to do don’t get stressed or get righted about a lot of things I have been seated at home like two years now this one [Music] [Music] today we say about under $250 we make a profit of Adcock Ingram the South African company behind Brahm clear told us they are concerned with the alleged misuse of their cough syrup with codeine and that since the product is not registered in Zimbabwe it’s illegal to export it there they acknowledged that smuggling medicine across borders is common and told us they have internal processes in place to fly unusually high or suspicious orders we want to understand what’s being done to help young addicts so we head to downtown Harare to meet up with Hilton Yama Kappa he works for one of the few NGOs in Zimbabwe actively working to help addicts they are good a number of reasons why the youths actually taking drugs number one reason is idleness some of them cannot afford to go to colleges so it’s a way of coping with the stress associated with it’s hard to pinpoint the exact amount of young Zimbabweans who are addicted to brawn clear and other narcotics the government states that no official studies have been conducted to quantify the scope of the issue that’s why various interest groups have made their own assessments and even though the results vary a lot one thing is certain the number of young people living on the streets as drug users is alarmingly high the information we’re getting from various sources we can say probably more than 50 percent of the youths in Zimbabwe are actually taking drugs and once you hook it’s hard to get help because the only specialized rehabilitation options in Zimbabwe are privately run and unaffordable for most users Hilton tells us how the government handles it if you use drugs you’re a criminal should be sent to jail so here’s an organization we are saying the legal system should actually have some kind of rehabilitation or or treatment we want to ask the authorities about the lack of state-run drug rehabilitation clinics so we drive to the Ministry of Health the treatment for drug dependence is only available in a psychiatric institutions by keeping them in the hospital and then making they’re giving them some some like ume potassium to make sure that they don’t really take the drugs so eventually they forget to take trucks Hilton Yama Kappa does not think that jail sentences and psychiatric treatment works the NGO is pushing for the government to run rehabilitation clinics where people can receive proper result-oriented treatment the problem of actually putting those people in mental institutions is that kind of treatment is actually detoxifying them it’s not actual treatment because you had detoxify today and tomorrow we are also craving for drugs so that is not the proper treatment we want a proper treatment where actually the drug there is gradual treatment until the and recovers in Bob wins pretend to be conservative and they don’t want to openly talk about those things so going forward we’ve got a generation to use if the government does not step up and some Bob wins themselves don’t step up to try and find the solution to dealing with this drug problem that is peddling our nation my way forward to leave all that was to Dumbo my best friends closed myself in my bedroom like when I started being serious in my music I had no time for for drugs and some heritage so that’s what maybe lose my interest in drugs I have four siblings and like all of them they are looking up to me now for the futures to be someone better like a source of inspiration to the youth susyvic asha found a purpose in making music and hands the way out the thousands of young Zimbabweans are still in the claws of addiction but to treat the root cause of Zimbabwe’s cough syrup’ abuse the lack of opportunities for the country’s youth it will take real political change that offers them future prospects I am the worst young to be winner huh yeah young nigga from zoom puppy newest idea oh yeah five years from the line I becoming dust’ ish oh yeah


  1. 10:39Everyday I take one bottle then I feel high and I don't think anything.how is he supposed to make progress in life if he doesn't think

  2. Straight from the mouths of fake rappers to a real epidemic in Africa.. this plan is working to perfection

  3. Africa is Hell on earth yet it the most fertile easy place to survive and prosper one may ask why there so messed up !

  4. Vice could you come in my country . AFRICA BÉNIN COTONOU JONCKEY MISSEBO . Here we're always taking TRAMADOL .

  5. Ok wait i am a Zimbabwean born and going to die here but this is my first time of hearing this pliz stop exaggerating i wont deny the fact that it might be happening but I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT and i bet its nothing serious coz it would have been all over Zim medias #fakenews or #exaggerated

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  7. Exactly the cheapest way to get high… Just s bottle codeine phosphate.. It will cost you 1 dollar in india

  8. And the company don't give a shit they Wana get payed what ever it takes act like they care about the people

  9. I hope mother Linda beat the shit out of her son. That's the only way to keep your son falling into that shit. What the hell do I know. Maybe both parents together my daughter and myself never had a chance to know that.

  10. Why not just use a straw to 'protect your teeth' ? That is how people drink apple cider vinegar to protect their teeth.

  11. lol, give them a benzo to stop taking drugs… great idea guys…. how bout you get em some kratom and get em clean for good.

  12. At different times in my life I’ve been on high doses of codeine (prescribed for broken bones). It binds you up so bad, these poor dudes probably haven’t shit in months.

  13. Haha, they're addicted to cough syrup and their teeth look nearly fine

    British smoker's teeth look awful 😂😂

  14. If top US rappers , rap about how cool it is to eat dog terds. You can bet black Boys all over the world will start eating dog terds.

  15. They don't have any money for food , but they have some for this shit.They don't have any money for food , by there is 5 , 6 , 10 childs per family. Lol. I hope they all die. Fucking parasites

  16. The attitudes of governments towards drug addiction is barbaric. Putting those who commit nonviolent drug offenses in prison with murderers and rapists is doing nothing to combat addiction, and it certainly doesn't rehabilitate the drug user.

  17. Damn and we over here drinking fake shit in the US and can’t even get our hands on Prescription cough syrup while these guys can buy it for $5 lmao

  18. All these codeine junkies, I just have one question- why don't they develop a tolerance? How can they even feel it after a few weeks?

  19. I can get this stuff whenever. Its honestly not even good. You would have to have no tolerance. Its just regular cough syrup w a TINY bit of codeine. You might as well pop opiates or do heroin. Im on methadone my dose would equal like 3 pints of this atleast.

  20. The NGO cannot afford a six bed rehab? You see, they rent offices, buy cars & computers but can't even start an out patient clinic?
    Everyone there is a scam!

  21. This Deputy Director though, she wants to give us diazepam yet we are already addicted to it, also known as mangemba or mabutton or madembare or mablue….😂🤣😂🤣

  22. You could pretty much go to any store and get a bottle of cough syrup for $5 in the US, I know people who steal that shit when they're broke cause it's really easy to get, it's pretty sad cause they're mostly kids and a lot of em take to much and end up overdosing

  23. Cough syrup dinking rappers? Its amazing no matter how poor people are we always have money for booze and drugs and cigarettes. Just saying.

  24. Codein+alcohol every day= mandness in a few years if your liver can handle it. Are a lot of NATURAL DRUGS that can help this situation and dont get more addicted people, sick people, people in jail….

  25. These people need opportunity. They need hope. If their government isn't able to provide that for them, then other governments around the world should.

  26. Light a match and run south africa is fucked. You think the government there actually cares about drug abuse. They probably get paid by the smugglers.

  27. opiates and heroin dont actually damage your brain at all. Kills no braincells, but if you dont get ot youll be sick and its easy to overdose, everything else is a myth. Meth fries your brain

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