Retreat residents got a skrik this week when they discovered a group of teen girls passed out in a public park after apparently getting high on cough syrup.
The girls, who are believed to be just 13-years-old, were found in the Julius Crescent Park on Monday afternoon after allegedly consuming a concoction called “Lean”.
Police say the dangerous mix of cough syrup, which contains codeine, fizzy cooldrinks and Ibuprofen causes laaities to get high.
Pictures of the flou girls lying on the ground have gone viral on social media, after a post by Retreat Ward councillor, Kevin Southgate, warning parents of the drug craze.
According to a representative of the LNB neighbourhood watch, who asked not to be named, the pictures were taken by worried residents after the girls were spotted in the park.
DANGEROUS: Teens use codeine and Ibuprofen to get high
“People who live around the park saw the girls dressed in school uniform on Monday morning, but then they left again.
“Later they saw the girls passed out, and took the pictures, that were posted in a WhatsApp group.”
He says patrollers went to assist and found the girls standing at a shop shortly after 2pm “looking like zombies”.
“Steenberg police were called and a female officer tried to talk to them, but they couldn’t even answer questions.
“You could see in their eyes they had taken something, they were like walking zombies. The officers put them in the car and assisted them from there.”
Southgate says he shared the pictures to raise awareness.
“Last year, empty cough syrup bottles were found in another park but the problem is they (the police) do not have any information about where it was purchased so it is hard to trace.”
In October, Grassy Park cops arrested a woman who was allegedly selling the hoesstroop to school children at R20 a bottle.
Community Police Forum chairperson, Gavin Walbrugh, adds: “It has been going on for a while and was raised at our CPF meeting, but this is the first time that children were found passed out.
‘SHOCKING’: CPF’s Gavin Walbrugh.
“It has shocked the community and we need the community to start talking about who is selling the syrup. These girls could have been raped, assaulted or abducted.”
He says parents have to be careful and keep an eye on medications kept in their homes.
“It is also important that parents who suspect their children are doing this, that they do not try and make them vomit, and rather take them to a hospital.” He adds that inducing vomiting could be dangerous.