KUALA LUMPUR: Starting them young is believed to be the motto of a businessman who sold up to 50,000 controlled cough tablets a month to students for just 50 sen a piece. The man, in his 40s, was supplying the controlled cough narcotic, called Nospan, to secondary school students who wanted to get high.
Abuse of this medication results in hallucination, vomiting, drowsiness and other side effects.
Health authorities raided a Chinese medicine hall in Seremban yesterday morning and checks revealed that the licence for the premises had been revoked more than a year ago.
"The businessman supplied Nospan mainly in the Seremban area. It is understood that the man used the Chinese medicine hall as a front for his business," a pharmacy source disclosed.
"However, the authorities are investigating how the businessman managed to use a licence, which expired in 2007, to obtain a steady supply of Nospan, which is a controlled drug and for which users need a doctor's prescription to obtain it."
During the raid, the authorities found more than 10,000 Nospan pills and more than 100 types of controlled substances of various brands with a market value of RM20,000.
It is believed that the businessman has a regular supplier. Investigations are also being conducted on companies supplying Nospan to pharmacies.
Initial investigations indicate that the businessman sold Nospan illegally to mainly school students and is believed to have raked in thousands of ringgit every month.
"To avoid detection, the suspect was believed to have sold between 10 and 40 Nospan pills in unlabelled packages to customers in each transaction," the source said.
"For a cough prescription, one tablet is needed at a time. We believe the students take two or three pills at one time which is enough to cause hallucination.
"Addicts take between five and 10 tablets and achieve the same high as a conventional addict who takes heroin or syabu. Students resort to the drug because it is cheap."
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