Authorities close a public park in Pietermaritzburg due to drug use

Authorities close a public park in Pietermaritzburg due to drug use

- Pietermaritzburg authorities have closed down a public park in Mgungunglova

- The reason behind the closure is an increase in school learners using the park as a place to do drugs

- Police searched learners on Friday for drugs and other illegal substances

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Pietermaritzburg authorities closed a public park in the Mgungunglova area on Friday. They searched learners for drugs and other illegal substances.

According to and eNCA report, the park had been scattered with empty alcohol and coedine bottles.

Nokuphiwa Zuma of Msunduzi Municipality's public safety said they are facing a huge problem in Mgungunglovu especially in the area the call Square because there are kids who are using drugs.

"There is a thing called 'Ncika' that they mix with Coo-ee and cough syrup (coedine)."

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It is a known fact that learners are using the park to consume drugs but their concoction is cough syrup containing codeine and Sprite which is also known as 'Lean', 'Dirty Sprite' or 'Sizzer'.

Zuma added that the learners don't go to school. They instead get dropped off in the morning at school but spend the whole day in the Square smoking.

Coedine is a very addictive substance if abused.

Dr Ian Sheik, a medical practitioner said that coedine can be very toxic and toxicity can lead to death.

"But I think you need more and more higher dosages of the substance to get the same effect, and the body becomes dependent on that," said Sheik.

He also added that it's pretty easier to get your hands on the substance coedine, there are some that are scheduled (stronger) which requires a prescription but there are many that you can also buy off a counter at a chemist without a prescription.

But society is questioning who is supplying the learners with the coedine based cough syrup.

Zuma commented that authorities are still struggling to determine where the learners are getting their supplies from but she believes police should conduct an investigation into it or perhaps find a way in which pharmacists can be prohibited in giving the medication to learners.

Authorities are trying to restore order to the park, but the easy access to coedine continues to be a cause for concern.

READ ALSO: Gauteng MEC instructs employees to break law in leaked recording

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