Nothing cool about this ‘designer’


The use of New Psychoactive Substances, called designer drugs or party drugs, spreads rapidly because most underestimate the damage they bring to one’s health and the society

The use of New Psychoactive Substances, called designer drugs or party drugs, spreads rapidly because most underestimate the damage they bring to one’s health and the society

HE BANGS his head against the wall, habitually, and mutters to himself all day long.

He cannot sleep a wink for days, his mind runs wild with horrific hallucinations that drive him to scream every now and then.

He strips in public and would beat anyone who tries to stop him, especially his family members.

These three persons are not residents at mental asylums, but of a drug rehabilitation centre in Kajang.

And what do they have in common? They all took designer drugs.

The word “designer” gives off a fashionable vibe and belies the kind of damage and destruction of these New Psychoactive Substances which commonly include methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy.

They are sugar-coated in alluring packaging, and can come in the form of colourful pills, drink sachets and even fruit-flavoured candies.

But there’s nothing cool about it, because once you pop one into your mouth, it causes damage to your brain, and over time, you may end up acting like one of the people above.

That is not the worse case

scenario yet; social workers have told me that some of the most shocking crimes in which the killers took the lives of family members, were the act of designer drug addicts who have lost their mind.

The family members of this centre’s residents also lament that they are often the punching bag at home, subject to various verbal and physical violence.

I went wide-eyed again when social workers told me that they could not cope with the recent batches of drug addicts, who were “educated, high-class, rich” and some are even chairmen of public-listed companies.

Think of the repercussions when these people, who are supposed to be leaders in our society, fall victim to the phenomenon.

How many of their employees might lose their jobs? How many business deals could crumble? What impact does it have on our economy?

The substantial number of teenagers taking designer drugs worry social workers too. They believe nine out of 10 teenagers who hang out after midnight have been coaxed into trying or have tried these drugs.

Pursuing further, I found out that the good concept of homestay had unwittingly compounded the situation as drug users sometimes hold their rave parties at these

private properties which are not monitored like hotels.

I highlighted the rapid spread of designer drugs in an article nine years ago, and after speaking to the same contacts recently, I realised that things have only gotten worse.

Looking at all this, I think one major problem is that people have underestimated the harm of designer drugs.

In spite of police efforts and

various awareness campaigns, users are still oblivious to its seriousness while parents are not on guard against its influence.

The users believe they will not get addicted because they may not feel the urge to keep taking it, nor have obvious withdrawal symptoms in the beginning.

What they do not know is that these substances are already sneakily and mercilessly ruining their biological system once they take the first pill.

“Just try it once to experience it”; “you need to try everything as you only live once” are among the “cool” excuses given by the pushers to sell their wares or users to find quick satisfaction. These tag lines are fancy on the surface but destructive in nature.

Do not even try it. It is detrimental, unless you do not mind living the rest of your life with a damaged brain like one of the above residents at this Kajang centre.

Central Region