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NDLEA: Northern youths now using embalming oil, paint, petrol to ‘get high’



The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has lamented that youths, especially those from Northern extracts, are increasingly using psychoactive substances such as embalming oil (formalin), paint and petrol to get ‘high’.

Speaking with The Nation recently, the Head of Drug Reduction Unit of the Adamawa State Command of the NDLEA, Shehu Dankolo, said this due to the ban placed on cocaine, tightening of rules regarding the purchase and consumption of codine, tramadol, diazepam, tyre solution and other conventional drugs.

“Youths are increasingly using psychoactive substances. They are the substances in vogue now. Take for instance formalin: that is embalming oil, the fluid for embalming the dead.

“That one is sniffed now or orally taken. Formalin is used legally mostly in hospitals for embalming dead bodies but people have experimented with it and abuse it for mood-altering purposes. They put it in a nylon bag and blow and draw on it,” he said.

Continuing, he added that, “There is rubber solution, otherwise called sholly, the one normally used in patching tyres. They blow and draw on it and it makes them feel on the air as if they are flying.

“When you see someone in the street with his two hands up in the air as they walk, they most likely have taken rubber solution and feel they are flying.

“Super glue is also now sniffed to get high. Then you have tipex, the substance that women apply on their nails. They sniff it. They also sniff petrol, then kerosene and paint. All these things are called organic solvents or inhalants.”

According to him, the solvents have worse effects on addicts than the prescription drugs hitherto abused.

“These inhalants are number one in terms of drugs that cause irreversible effects. If you are hooked on it and it damages your brain, there is nothing anyone can do for you. And people who take such drugs are very difficult to manage, they are difficult to rehabilitate.

“After the counselling and rehabilitation we do here, if they go to school, they won’t understand anything. Organic solvents damage the brain faster and more acutely and in forms that are irreversible.”

Speaking further, he said for this trend to stop, the factors that force youths to abuse drugs must be tackled and that laws need to be made regarding substances being abused.

“Lack of relevant legislation or weakness in enforcing enacted laws encourage the festering of drug abuse.

“Those of them that are legislated upon, like tramadol, codeine, totolin, sodein, marijuana, cocaine, Indian hemp, diazepam and all of that, they can be prosecuted, but when it comes to psychoactive substances, there is no legislation to regulate their use and those who use them cannot be prosecuted in court.”