Worries as syrup use gets out of hand

The girls were found dazed at a park in Retreat.

The Western Cape Education Department Education (WCED) will assist pupils who were found dazed in a park last week.

The school pupils were suspected of taking Stilpane and other syrups to get high when they were found lying in a park in Julius Crescent, Retreat, on Monday August 19.

Photos were circulated on social media of four girls who were lying on the ground at the park and bottles of syrup were found close to where they were.

Youngsters mix Stilpane, cough and other syrups with cooldrink to induce a high.

Bronagh Hammond from the WCED said the department had made enquiries into the case and would try to engage the pupils who were involved.

“The WCED were made aware of some photos circulating of learners that were in a park after school who were allegedly under the influence of some form of substance. A request to engage with the learners of the school involved on the risks of substance abuse will be made,” she said.

She said teachers were trained how to conduct drug tests when there was reasonable suspicion or a request from parents or guardians.

“Testing is never for punitive reasons, but for support and development,” said Ms Hammond.

Steenberg police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg, said parents needed to monitor their children.

“Children who do take the syrup can lose consciousness and become vulnerable to perpetrators of crime. A case had not been opened for investigation but regarding the incident we responded accordingly. Side effects can cause drowsiness and it is therefore important that parents must be extremely vigilant when children consume any form of medication.”

He said a meeting had been scheduled with the school principal regarding the matter.

Pupils or parents can call 0800 45 46 47 for support and information on substance abuse programmes or counselling.