A new kind of high

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SWATI SHARMA
Published Nov 25, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Nov 25, 2016, 6:56 am IST
A new party drug that mimics LSD enters an already flourishing drug market and worries authorities.
Drug market in India is flourishing as drugs can now be bought online.
 Drug market in India is flourishing as drugs can now be bought online.

A new party drug in the market has cops and authorities worried. Unfazed by demonetisation, the drug market in India is flourishing as drugs can now be bought online.

While ganja and cocaine continue to have their patrons, NBOMe has become the preferred drug at high-end parties in the city. It’s a combination of Methoxy-benzyl and Phenethyl-Amine.

 

The demand for such drugs has increased because they are cheap alternatives and easily available. They also increase sensitivity to light and sound. NBOMe was not a scheduled drug until it was recently listed as a psychotropic substance in the NDPS Act.

“It was under the radar for many years at the national and international level, but finally it got listed in the NDPS Act and is now considered a banned drug,” says Madho Singh, Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau, New Delhi.

Elaborating further, Singh says, “In the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, there are certain substances listed and we can only book a drug under the Act if it has those substances.”

Several party drugs are being abused, but unless it’s listed under the NDPS Act, the narcotics department cannot book a case. “There are approximately 650 party drugs in the market all over the world. But, taking these drugs is not an offense; it can only be an offense if it’s a scheduled drug. A person who is an expert in chemical analysis can make this at home by mixing various substances. As such, there is no specific preparation in an organised way,” adds Singh.

S.K. Sinha, Zonal Director NCB, Bangalore, where the first case of NBOMe came to light after the drug was listed in the NDPS Act, explains, “To make the drug cheaper and to avoid law and detection, the trafficker and the manufacturer update themselves about the chemicals and the chemical compounds. NBOMe is a group of chemicals similar to LSD. While NBOMes have a very bitter taste, LSD has no taste. It’s hypnotic and mimics the effect of LSD. The drug is sold as LSD, since the manufacturing cost of NBOMe is very less and they get a huge margin out of it.”

Sinha adds, “They are available on the Darknet as well. One can either buy the drug or certain chemicals which are not banned. Then, they synthesise and manufacture it. It is even smaller than a revenue stamp paper. It’s sprayed on a blot paper, and priced between Rs 500 and Rs 1000. It’s easy to traffic and difficult to detect.”

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