THIS week we take time and look at the questions that have been coming through on this subject of codeine abuse.
With the look of things and those that are now saying we need help to break this dependency it is clear if this is not handled we are breeding a nation clouded with codeine abuse.
One asked that since these substances containing codeine are said to be safe then how can then they be said to be dangerous as the more you take means you will be having excess of the substance when the body needs the codeine.
There is the good use of the substance which is as per directed and the length of time to use, reason being for whatever substance that you take in for it to achieve its purpose it does so by burning the essential nutrients that are needed by the body to survive. So too much of these substances or chemicals become a poison for one’s well-being.
Also too much of the chemicals or the substance will then begin to over work internal organs like the kidneys, the heart and lead to some illnesses.
Another asked how one can be helped if they discover that they have such a dependency. If you find yourself unable to go throughout the day without taking any of the substances related to the above, you need professional help to help you break off the dependency dealing with the physical cravings and psychological cravings of the substance.
This stage is called withdrawal and then one needs to have what we call the full detoxification programme where one goes through a sauna and takes some supplements to help get rid of the substances that are stored in the body tissues as they lead to relapse.
Another parent asked on the cough mixtures that are being abused by the children, some putting it in alcohol calling them the purple drinks, as to is there any danger to that? Mixing codeine with any other substance or chemical is a danger to one’s health as this decreases the rate at which the liver processes the toxic combination of ethanol and other chemicals contained in the codeine. This causes a great liver injury. Too much of the chemical also lowers one’s body immunity and the abusers easily catch diseases. Also as young people their brains are still developing and too much of these substances slows them down and they have difficulty in remembering. Some at times go into blank phases and end up as psychiatric patients. Some because of overdoses are found in a coma or dead. It is never safe to abuse codeine in any way.
One asked what they should do since if they do not take any of these substances they feel this pain of old coming strong. Some pain is psychological and is associated with an environment or a specific smell or scent. The mind releases the thought and information is disseminated to the body that it is pain time or sickness time and you just find yourself being sick so you have to walk yourself out of that thought instead of diving for the medicinal cabinet.
-Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information call 00263772399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org