FOREIGN NEWS

Youths Turn to Used Diapers & Sanitary pads to get High, Amidst Hardship

Life in most parts of the world is becoming tougher, with many economies in a free fall. But that has not prevented youths in the South African nation of Zimbabwe from doing anything just to get high.

With the country’s economy falling drastically since 2018, most can not even afford food in Late President Robert Mugabe’s nation.

Youths lie down by the road in a suburb of Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, after drinking sodium polyacrylate or muto we ma pampers (Shona for “juice of pampers”).

ZWL$100 amounts only to 186.56 Nigerian Naira or US$0.45, but inflation is so high in the country that even if one has over N550, that still won’t be able to afford food or broncleer – a street drug mixture of cough syrup with alcohol and codeine – or dagga (marijuana).

With the hardship and the inherent desire to numb the mind from pain, people have resorted to a cheaper alternative, which involves adding water to the white residue found in used diapers and boiling it.

Used Sanitary pads and diapers Used to illustrate the story.

According to Thomas Gundawo, a teenager, “After boiling, it forms a greyish substance and we drink the mixture.”

“It’s semi-solid, it smells and tastes bad but we just drink. It helps us to get high [at] less cost.

“I need a little drink in the morning to have energy and confidence as I attract passengers,” said the 19-year-old who has been abusing drugs since his third year in high school – six years ago.

More thab 25, 000 students graduate from Zimbabwe’s higher institutions annually but there are no jobs and unemployment has continued to soar.

Experts say all of this has led youths to find coping mechanisms – including drugs. While the southern African country has no national database to track drug users, anecdotal evidence points to many users among the population – more than half of whom are below the age of 30.

Curled from: Al Jazeera

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