*Concoction is to battle depression- Akponana, consumer
*They‘re joking with kidney failure, blindness – Sideso, pharmacist
By Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI – YOUTHS at Ughelli and environs in Delta State have resorted to blending methylated spirit and other chemicals with soft drinks to “get high.”
Methylated spirit, also called denatured alcohol or denatured rectified spirit, is ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, bad tasting, foul smelling or nauseating, to discourage recreational consumption. In some cases it is also dyed.
Finding by NDV revealed that getting high, which is elevating one’s state of mind and altering the state of mind or consciousness is a deadly drug consumption habit that has turned into a hobby for youths at several parts of the country. Scientifically the drug/chemical alters the cells throughout your body.
It’s a low-cost way to fight depression – Doro, consumer
They claim that quaffing the unholy mixture of herbal and pharmaceutical drugs to fight depression.
Doro Akponana, 21, and user of “Solution”, a chemical mixture used by vulcanizer to patch tyre: “This is a new type of high for us to get more with very little amount of money.”
“Unlike tramadol, codeine and other forms of drugs, you are not scared of being arrested by the police for being in possession of a bottle of methylated spirit,” he volunteered.
Giving reasons for his consumption of the mixture, he said: “I use it to forget my depression and when high, I just easily feel relaxed and sleep well.”
It’s a new kind of drug abuse
Confirming the upsurge, a staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Yes, it is a new kind of mixture being ingested by drug users today.”
“To the best of my knowledge, the agency has not prosecuted anyone for consuming this mixture as someone with a bottle of methylated spirit and soft drink is not breaking any law, but we are doing our best through our enlightenment programme to educate the people, particularly youths on the damaging effect in the consumption of such mixtures,” he said.
It’s deadly concoction – Pharmacist
Describing the methylated spirit and soft drink mixture as poisonous, a pharmacist, Austin Sideso, likened it to a person intentionally consuming poison.
He explained that methylated spirit is basically alcohol made for general medical and pharmaceutical use that has been made unfit for drinking by the addition of a wee percent methanol and typically also some pyridine and a violet dye.
“Mixing this spirit with soft drinks might douse the bad taste thereby giving it a false taste by making it convenient for these youths to consume in a cocktail form,” he stated.
His words: “Methylated spirit is denatured alcohol and it is poisonous with 80 percent alcohol and 20 percent ethyl. For the normal alcohol, the renal system metabolizes it into something that the body can discharge, hence after consumption of alcohol, there is a tendency to urinate and after a while, the alcohol fades out from the system
“But for methylated spirit, it takes the renal system at least four hours to absolve, after which it forms formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical in the body. This causes kidney failure and a prolonged use can also lead to blindness, abnormal pain.” he added.