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Trend: HCMC Students Getting High on Cough Medicine

Drugs may be incredibly illegal in Vietnam, but according to a recent report, like their western counterparts, some teenagers have discovered the magical powers of cough medicine. The difference is, instead of doing it for the high, Vietnamese students are using to get out of their academic responsibilities.

Earlier this week at Lu Gia Junior Secondary School in District 11, school supervisors reported that a group of 8th graders were slurring the speech. When checking their bags, the supervisors uncovered a stash of Recotus cough medicine:

"Some of them showed abnormal signs. They could not speak clearly like they were drunken, but they did not have smell of alcohol,” said one supervisor.

According to a representative of the school, when parents were summoned, they told officials that they were aware of the issue:

"…Recently, some parents informed us that their children were still enticed by classmates to take this medicine in order to make their teachers think that they are sick, so that they would not have to recite their lessons."

At Tang Bat Ho Junior Secondary School in District 4, peer pressure is playing a role in the drug use – “a number of parents said that someone came to the school to force their children to use the medicine; if they refused to do this, they would be beaten.”

For many, taking the medicine has landed them in the hospital. Last year 4 students at a secondary school in District 2 were hospitalized when they experienced hallucinations and other reactions such as palpitations and trembling.

Ho Chi Minh City Health Department official, Mr. Nguyen Van Vinh, said his department has been working to restrict the sales of these medicines.

I guess we shouldn’t tell them about the myriad of opioids freely available in Saigon pharmacies…

[Vietnam Net // Photo via ep_jhu]

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