IN some of the prevention programmes that l have been doing with the in and out of school youths, the use or abuse of synthetic drugs was brought to my attention. Our children are having their drugs in the comfort of our homes without us even noticing their initial use until they spiral deeper and we begin to notice the drugged behaviour tendencies exhibited.
You will not smell it or see it in the manner that you would expect the drug to be, but you will see its damaging effects on those that have exposed themselves to the substance.
Most drugs we know have natural ingredients, like mbanje coming from a cannabis sativa plant, opium plants or opium related substances. The drug dealers have designed an escape route so that they escape from the long hand of the law and have designed synthetic drugs.
Synthetic drugs are created by man using man-made chemicals, rather than natural ingredients. Some of these that our youths are already exposed to are K2 or spice which is synthetic marijuana (mbanje) having similar and more potent effects of the substance, we also have bath salts also falling into the category of designer drugs.
Designer drugs are a synthetic chemically made version of an illegal drug that is slightly altered to avoid having it classified as illegal. It is an experiment done by a chemist to create a new drug that can be sold legally allowing drug dealers to make money without breaking the law.
Interesting from the children was how some of these substances are created at school or at home and then taken out for experiments on their unsupervised parties doing trends these days.
Some of these substances are sold in shops as herbal smoking blends, hence the increase of the shisha smoking around our cities.
The danger of using synthetic drugs is that the measurements are not always the same as the manufacturers try and satisfy each one of their customers, when word goes around that it’s no longer giving a kick they increase the dosages of the chemicals, and at most users take the drug not knowing what it is containing and some of these chemicals used their effects on the body and mind are unknown and they take some to trips of no return, some become insane and some even die.
The use of such substances especially by youths makes them susceptible to many incurable diseases as some of the poisons or chemicals contained damage their internal organs like the heart, the kidneys, the liver, the brain and many others. Withdrawal effects of these substances are just like the natural ingredients or even worse due to the nature of chemicals used and professional help is needed for one to cut off dependency.
- Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information and help call or whatsapp +263772399734 or email [email protected] and join the Rechabites in building a drug-free healthy and productive society.