24 February 2024
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In West Bengal’s Durgapur, students have become addicted to condoms – and not for the reasons one would think.

Shopkeepers in Durgapur say sales of condoms have increased ten-fold with students and graduates queuing up in Durgapur City, Bidhannagar, Benachiti, Muchipara, C Zone, and A Zone.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening and how youths are getting high:

Officials speaking to News18 Bangla said that when flavoured condoms are soaked in hot water, some kind of alcoholic compound is released. The students are leaving that liquid for a long time – sometimes overnight – before drinking it, officials say.

Officials claim the concoction gives the students a high for between 10 and 12 hours.

Durgapur RE College Model School chemistry teacher Nurul Haque said, “Soaking condoms in hot water for a long time breaks down large organic molecules and creates alcohol compounds. This compound is keeping the youth intoxicated.”

Speaking to Banglahunt, Superintendent Dhiman Mandal of Durgapur sub-district hospital said, “There is some kind of aromatic compound in the condom. Alcohol is produced by breaking it down. This aromatic compound is also found in dendrites. So many are seen to be intoxicated with dendrites.”

This is hardly the first time youths have tried to come up with new and innovative ways to get high. For many, easily available household items remain the substance of choice:

  • Drinking cough syrup
  • Sniffing glue
  • Inhaling paint
  • Inhaling nail polish
  • Inhaling whiteners
  • Drinking hand sanitiser
  • Drinking aftershave
  • Eating Iodex on bread

Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, police recently said they are unable to book substance abusers as there is no law in the Indian Penal Code for the purpose, as per Deccan Chronicle.

Police say products such as whiteners and cough syrups have a low count of sedatives and do not come under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Act (NDPS).

The Hyderabad Police noted that there is an alarming rise in consumption of whiteners as also other sedatives that are cheaper than alcohol, especially during the COVID pandemic.

Even children have been seen using these products at several places including at the Malkajgiri railway station, Public Garden, Nampally, and near the railway tracks.

“For Rs 25, they get the same kick as would with liqour costing Rs 120,” a senior police officer said. The substance puts them to sleep for hours.

The city police along with GHMC have started warning medical shops against sale of these sedatives without prescription. Stationery shops were also warned against giving the whiteners to ‘suspicious persons’.

With input from ANI

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Abdul Gh Lone