Sweet sweet codeine: Nigeria's cough syrup crisis - BBC Africa Eye documentary

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In Nigeria, thousands of young people are addicted to codeine cough syrup – a medicine that’s become a street drug.

The Nigerian senate estimates that 3 million bottles of codeine syrup are drunk every day in just two states – Kano and Jigawa.

But who makes this syrup? And who sells it to Nigeria’s students?

BBC Africa Eye went undercover to investigate.

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Download — Sweet sweet codeine: Nigeria's cough syrup crisis - BBC Africa Eye documentary

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

Please make sure you have subtitles/CC turned on in the video settings, they will provide translations or clarity where needed. Thanks for watching!

Author — BBC News Africa

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People are worried about her makeup while she's out here trying to save

Author — Alchemical Architect

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I can sit on YouTube all day watching different documentaries!!!!

Author — Redbone 88

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It's 2019 and instead of commenting on how brave, smart and compassionate this reporter is, you all are commenting on her makeup. Really sad. Grow up people. Women are not objects for you to physically critique like piece of jewelry. She's a human being who put her life on the line to spread awareness and help people. This was an amazing documentary, thanks to everyone involved.

Author — HangOut AndTravel

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That's what happens when you have large young population withiut jobs.
Bad, weak and corrupt government

Author — sang muan

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You see a lot of women wearing hijab head covering. This shows you that no matter if a woman cover or not that does not determine her character. There are grimy men and women everywhere.

Author — speak mind300

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They not even mixing the lean. They drinking it straight. Damnnnn

Author — El Skye

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She is smart, brave, and very articulate, and i think she is beautiful!

Author — L W

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Am glad I saw this in my recommendations. Ill never try codeine

Author — Titus

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A strong woman who tirelessly fights for justice like her father. What a beautiful woman. I will always believe in humanity because of people like her.

Author — Suk Milley Tolfrend

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I’m afraid for d journalist & I hope she will not end like Jamal khashoghchi was killed by Saudi leader, I admire her so much to bring d truth to us . Much love from Canada 🇨🇦

Author — Vegan Green

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Just based on the Title of this I want to say that my theory on Codeine addiction is understandable when ppl are forced to live in horrible conditions. I myself was once addicted to Vicodin during a very, very bad time in my life and those pills made it bearable for me. They made me feel good in spite of all the things that were taking place in my life.This drug numbs pain, physical and emotional.So, for all of the ppl in the world now hooked on this drug should tell us something.And that is, people are miserable with the way things are and how they are forced to live.I am not condoning the use, , just saying that I understand it.Happy ppl who live good lives and have good jobs are usually not the ones using this drug.I feel for these ppl who are desperate for happiness.

Author — Chrisli Durison

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In South Africa you can buy painkillers containing codeine over-the-counter. I used the ones called Adcodol for years to numb dental pain initially but then realized I was addicted to them. Now I avoid anything containing codeine.
Great reporting @BBC News Africa, Stay safe though.

Author — Cathy Cronje

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She's brave, strong and amazing 💞 💯🇿🇦

Author — SAUS

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can you look past her makeup and look at what her life is made up of. taking those risks to educate us and you still focus on her make up.

Author — chibenho

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Excellent documentary. Horrific circumstances. One thing I've noticed when watching any show about drugs.. THE DRUG DEALER DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE ADDICT!!!!

Author — Valincia Pruitt

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Really Mr Johnson and nobody was suspicious lol

Author — Martinrfc1872

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When she told of her dad my heart broke for her. I also am scared for her in that other journalist man’s life. I hope that pharma rep went to jail.

Author — Tryin to Live

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50:52 You will never see a fish in Nigeria coughing again 😁🤣

Author — nevada sam

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You can argue that it's not good for your health but I didn't hear one cough through the whole thing 👍

Author — West Senkovec