What? You have never gone high?! You don’t belong with us,’ is the common reaction met by a teenager when he or she confesses to not having tried a drug ever. And this is where the battle of peer pressure begins. Under the flagship of experiments and identity establishments, youths force themselves to snort joints and huff toxic substances.
Gone are the days when parents were worried about their children turning from occasional drinkers to alcoholics. Now, the bigger concern is about drug addiction. However, most of the times, excessive freedom given by parents and their careless behaviour in parenting catalyse the probability of their children becoming drug addicts.
It is not only the street children who are caught in a sinister web of addictions. Addictions seem to have affected all classes of society and there are no age barriers either. Although history has borne witness to the use of a variety of drugs, drug addiction seems to have become a threat of great proportions to the society only recently.
The increase in drug addictions can be attributed to changing value systems, evolving fashions and the increased pressure of competition, compounded by peer pressures. To cope with all this, youth turn to drugs and alcohol.
These days most teenagers prefer to take admissions in colleges or universities that are away from their hometowns. Along with studies, they want to explore their identities by living away from parents, but the adolescent in them attracts the culture followed by their peer groups in hostels and other places.
A study by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights on substance abuse by kids showed that last year, 100 per cent of children in conflict with the law were drug abusers, while 95.5 per cent of them staying in child care institutions were on drugs and 93 per cent of street children consumed narcotics. The study also said 88 per cent of the children consumed drugs due to peer pressure.
According to the de-addiction centres in the national Capital, a large numbers of youths enrolled in higher education have become drug addicts. As many of them belong to the middle class and their families somehow manages to deposit their educational fees, these drug addict debutants indulge in petty criminal activities. Hence, instead of making records in education their names are imprinted in the criminal records.
The easy availability of the drugs—be it the most common drug Ganja/charas or LSD or cocaine, encourages the youth to take drugs. The emerging party culture that includes attending rave parties, pubs and discotheques to maintain one’s status symbol, is also the reason why new drug-use trends have been recorded on the scene.
These are the places where youngsters are trapped by drug dealers or drug addicts who are waiting to get them hooked to forbidden substances. Each step forward towards drugs pushes one a step away from the real world around him/her. Rave parties, characterised by electronica-trance music, close dancing, and alcohol, are infamous for the rampant presence of drugs and are thus, often called ‘acid house parties’.
Pubs and discotheques, that are mostly popular among the young, especially couples who want to spend some quality time with each other, are thronged by drug peddlers who target these youngsters, eager to live life on their own terms. When Millennium Post visited a few of these infamous pubs (names withheld) in the national capital, the easy availability of drugs was scary.
Go and stand near the bartender, make a few gestures to convey that you are looking for these party drugs, and the next time you order a drink, they will hand you a piece of paper that will instruct you to go to a particular place inside the pub premises where you can meet the drug dealer.
At rave parties, however, drug peddlers approach you much as a hawker would. ‘Do you want Cocaine, LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), Ganja...’ the list of wares is endless. Anyone attending the party for the first time may be in for a shock. But regulars or addicts don’t need a second call to enter into a bargain with the peddlers.
Ganja (Rs 50 to Rs 700 per gram), Charas (Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per gram), LSD (Rs 1,200- Rs 4,000 per drop), Cocaine (Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000 per gram) are most commonly used and are easily available. The price varies depending on the quality, drug peddler and the place of availability of these drugs. Other drugs that are available in Delhi-NCR are Ephedrine, Actifin tablets, Phenobarbitol, Acetic Anhydride and Chemical Powder.
Apart from these drugs, party pills are highly popular and easily available in the market. These Party Pills are often used for in-house parties, music concerts and bachelor parties. A senior police official from the Narcotics and Crime Prevention Cell shared details about these pills.
‘These party pills are well known as Ecstasy pills (XTC tablets). They are commonly used at parties and it has become something of a status symbol among the young. A feeling of inner peace and self-acceptance is induced by the consumption of these pills, ‘ said the official.
The official added that the chemical content of these pills is so heavy that it cannot be taken directly, and is often adulterated and mixed with either soft or hard drinks.
The scientific name of this pill is MDMA, but it is widely known as Ecstasy. The trend of consuming these pills has increased due to the increasing cases of depression among youths. But selling and buying of these pills is banned in the country.
Till this mid-year, meow-meow was the new drug in the market but now the party lovers are opting for a sweet high! Cocoa cocaine also known as raw cocoa is becoming a new party drug in Delhi-NCR, says Delhi Police.
As bizarre as the trend may sound, cocoa snorting or ‘snocolating’, originated in Berlin and has now become a staple at raves across the World and has recently hit India, in powder, pill and liquid form. It is available for Rs 300 to Rs 500 per gram. “In Delhi-NCR, cocoa cocaine is being offered in rave parties that are mainly organised in day time where alcohol or any other illegal drug is not served,” said a senior police official.
“This drug can be ingested, drunk and even snorted, as it is in powder form. Also, snorting devices are available in these clubs so that the user can huff it in powdered form, much like cocaine. These devices are basically miniature catapults with spring loaded spoons that fling cocoa powder up your nostrils,” another officer said.
Cocoa contains flavanols which improve blood circulation and cognitive. It also contains certain mood-enhancing compounds such as anandamide and phenylethylamine. When ingested, it triggers a cascade of amino acids and neurotransmitters including monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors, which allow serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain: theobromine, which stimulates feelings of euphoria and contentment and phenethylamine, the chemical we produce when we fall in love.
Another official, requesting anonymity said, “Cocoa cocaine, including anti-depressants, is comparatively safer as compared to other synthetic drugs which weaken or block the body’s neural pathways, creating dependence. Cocoa cocaine, however, uplifts the mood mostly because of the endorphins present in the chocolate. Endorphins trigger dopamine, which fuels your body’s pleasure system. Both endorphins and dopamine are natural neurotransmitters which produce feelings similar to those after an orgasm or a drug high.”
Explaining the attacking mechanism of cocoa cocaine on the body, an official in narcotics department said, “It first provides a rush of endorphins into the bloodstream which fuels feelings of euphoria, especially when coupled with dance music.
The high amounts of magnesium in cocoa cocaine relax the muscles, all within 15 minutes or so. This speeds up the oxygen supply to the muscles, allowing them to make the most of the precious fuel.” “Under the influence of house, hip-hop, funk and electronic music, this drug amplifies one’s experience. Hence, these days it is much in demand,” an officer in Crime Branch said.