Let me help you. Drugs are divided into OTC ( on the counter drugs), controlled substances (which due to their psychotic nature, are sold only upon prescription of a doctor), and expressly prohibited substances, which include our cocaine, heroin and LSD.

Unlike what you think, cough syrups remain on the counter drugs. Do you know why? The national drugs formulary lists, so designates it. And it's actually a law. And I do not recall it being repelled nor amended. The act of NAFDAC borders on lawlessness. Unless Emzor is being cowed by other means, they should be in court by now and making NAFDAC sweat out hefty fines.

We have a lynch mob mentality; we don't ever face the problems. The problem is the addicts; you must identify them, and rehabilitate them. That cuts off the demand. Why do young people take to drugs? No education, no opportunities, no hope; so they turn to dope. The demand is going to get stronger, small labs are going to spring up manufacturing codeine in a stronger and more potent form. They will be both beyond control and supervision. They will continue to feed the growing demand.

On Facebook yesterday, I watched 3 kids, oldest maybe about 3, sucking off that notorious shisha pipes and exhaling with the dexterity of seasoned smokers. Shishais more dangerous than cigarettes. What is smoked can be anything including opium and its derivatives. The number of substances being abused in Nigeria includes fumes from pit latrines!!! Are we going to ban people from shitting??? Unless we decide to tackle this malaise from the roots of the growing demand for drugs, we just dey perambulate and we still dey.... same same place... in the eternal words of Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory.

- Moses Ideho, a Barrister-at-law, is social critic.

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