3,045 bottles of Phensedyl seized near border: Why Codeine-based cough syrups are banned?
The Border Security Force has seized 3,045 bottles of banned cough syrup Phensedyl near India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal's Berhampur.
The bottles were to be smuggled into Bangladesh, where these cough syrups are banned and selling them is punishable.
The narcotic substance codeine-based cough syrup bottles, which are valued at Rs.3,88,238, were seized near Border Out Post Kakmarichar.
According to reports, the BSF has seized over 700,000 bottles of Phensedyl worth about Rs. 7 crore in the last four years.
The customs headquarters in Shillong seized 29,600 bottles of Phensedyl in February this year from a truck bearing a Nagaland licence plate near Thangsalai village
Last year, the government had taken a major step to ban the manufacturing of codeine-based cough syrups, which were earlier easily available at chemist shops.
These syrups, which were being sold under brand names Corex, Phensedyl, Rexcof, had become a major menace as many youths became addicted to them.
Why are these syrups banned?
Although Codeine-based cough syrups are effective in suppressing cough and cold, their misuse emerged as a major problem. The active ingredient Codeine is a narcotic belonging to a class of chemicals called opioids. Opioids can be highly addictive when taken in more than recommended quantities and for a prolonged period. It needs to be noted that contraband substance Heroin is also an opioid.
Codeine, a much weaker opioid when compared to Heroin or Morphine, still can be habit forming because of its calming effects and ability to induce a false sense of euphoria.
When the court banned them, it was felt that their ill-effects far outweighed the benefits they offer.
In many countries, painkillers which contain Codeine and paracetamol are available over-the-counter.