Substance abuse has become a new norm in our society. Unlike in the olden days when the majority of the substance abuse that we know has to do with alcohol, and perhaps a bit of weed, nowadays, the number of substances that are either being abused or have the potential to be abused seems limitless. The modern-day youths have gotten so creative to the extent that nothing, and I mean nothing, can be used to get high when the chips are down.
The different social media platforms are filled with videos of youths smoking and getting high on different kinds of substances. The modern youths consider it cool to get high and flaunt it as if their lives depend on it, even when they know that taking such substances is against the laws of their country. Some of the videos I have seen are quite disturbing where you see a youth that just took one of the substances losing all forms of sanity and saying loads of gibberish while lying agitatedly on the floor.
Creativity Meets Abuse
As modernization advances, so is man's quest to be pleasured. What use to be adequate before now has become inadequate and what seems adequate now is not accessible by the privileged few due to their high costs. This is not only evident in terms of sexual pleasure (with the proliferation of sexual preferences) but also in getting high. The latter works by stimulating neurons in the brain's reward system, an action that causes excessive release of dopamine which is a chemical that is associated with pleasure in the body system.
When it became evident that the abuse of easily available conventional drugs such as cannabis, tobacco, Rohypnol, etc. no longer get them to the level they desire coupled with the high cost of more sophisticated ones that can do the job, youths have decided to be creative with their abuse. After a bit of survey and online research, below are some of the substances or combinations of substances that are often taken to get high to the desired level:
Tea bags soaked in gin
Everyone knows that teas are meant for drinking and are generally considered safe unless someone has a medical condition that stipulated otherwise. Teas generally contain chemicals such as caffeine, tannin, potassium salts, and nitrogenous matters. Gins also are a form of beverage with nothing less than 80 percent proof, that is, 40 percent alcohol. While caffeine is known to be a central nervous system stimulant, scientists are yet to come to terms with the primary effects of tea tannins on the physiology of the body.
The combined effects of caffeine in tea and 40 percent alcohol in gin si what probably get the consumers of tea in gin going. However, this combination can more damaging to human health in the short or long run or even both.
Methylated spirit mixed with coke
Methylated spirits are known to be medical-grade alcohols that have been rendered rather unsuitable, or should I say unpalatable, for drinking by the addition of other chemicals such as methanol and pyrimidine. They are primarily used for disinfecting surfaces in medical settings and usually contain 80 percent alcohol. Coke, on the other hand, is a beverage (soda) produced by the coca-cola company and is known to contain carbonated water, caffeine, phosphoric acid, sugar, colouring caramel, and natural flavourings.
The chemical additions to the alcohol in methylated spirit make it largely unpalatable but mixing it with coke, a sweet beverage erases this unpalatable effect. In short, anyone consuming such a mixture is consuming 80 percent alcohol combined with caffeine. Worthy to mention that methylated spirits offer a cheaper form of alcohol than conventional alcoholic beverages.
Gin infused with cannabis
The psychoactive effect of cannabinoids in cannabis and that of alcohol is what many people are familiar with. While their individual effects can be damning, one can only imagine how the synergistic effects of combining the two substances would be.
Other substances or combinations of substances worthy of being mentioned include methylated spirit mixed with codeine, tomtom (menthol-based candy) dissolved in lacassera (a carbonated drink), smoking of dry pawpaw, or plantain leaves, etc. The list is quite numerous with new combinations popping up every day.
Health effects of substance abuse
I could have just stopped at discussing the various substance abuse that our youths now engage in without reminding us about the health effects of consuming these substances but would be tantamount to promoting substance abuse.
Many youths in mental hospitals are victims of substance abuse, a statistic that tells the true story of the devastating effects the action can have on the brain.
Kidney and liver problems are now quite rampant in our society. It is not just a mere coincidence that many of the victims of these health issues are youth, even though no one will come out to say that he/she got kidney or liver issues as a result of constant substance abuse. The functions of the two organs are such that they the primary receiver of the impacts of taking these substances into the body system and once they become overworked, just like every normal machine, they break down.
Other effects of abusing substances include the tendency to become violent and hurt those around us, addiction, effects on finances, damages to the heart, and many other effects that are too numerous to be mentioned in this post. The only way out is to just obey the golden rule:
Say no to substance abuse!