Definition of chemical cosh in English:

chemical cosh


  • A narcotic drug or drugs used to subdue a disruptive person, typically a patient in an institution.

    ‘health experts have denied claims that sedatives are being used as a chemical cosh for the elderly’
    • ‘It is a matter of good fortune that care staff are on hand to deal with difficult situations, rather than simply administering a chemical cosh.’
    • ‘Ritalin, nicknamed the "chemical cosh", has been criticised amid claims it has dangerous side-effects, including abdominal pain, anxiety, dizziness, headaches and psychosis.’
    • ‘Doctors will face up to five years in jail under a plan to stop anti-psychotic drugs being used as a potentially fatal chemical cosh to sedate dementia patients.’
    • ‘The National Association of Young People in Care believes the chemical cosh was widely used in children's homes 20 years ago.’
    • ‘She discovered that she had been injected with a chemical cosh of sedatives at the age of seven while in council care.’
    • ‘We must avoid the use of these drugs as a potentially dangerous chemical cosh to patients who would be better off without it.’
    • ‘Campaigners last night said that action was needed to prevent children being treated with "chemical cosh" drugs rather than therapies such as counselling.’
    • ‘Some of his songs dealt directly with asylum life, as viewed by an inmate through the haze of a chemical cosh.’
    • ‘Dementia patients could be better treated with common painkillers such as paracetamol rather than chemical cosh anti-psychotic drugs, a study has found.’
    • ‘Some of Scotland's most vulnerable schoolchildren will have to be controlled using the "chemical cosh" Ritalin because staff fear prosecution if they use physical restraint, ministers were warned last night.’