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Drug cocktails rate tops with youngsters

Like in drinks, cocktail is the flavour in drugs as well, at least in affluent society. 2-3 grams of cocaine costs Rs 15,000 but a cocktail of drugs could cost only half that amount, and it's even more dangerous. For example, cocaine mixed with alcohol is fatal.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 20:38 IST

By Prashant K. Nanda

Like in drinks, cocktail is the flavour in drugs as well, at least in affluent society.

Doctors treating drug-abused patients say the latest trend among the young and the rich is to try a mix of cocaine, heroin or smack with non-narcotic sedatives. "It costs less but the euphoria is high".

"Youngsters want to stay in a state of euphoria for a longer time and a mix of both narcotic and non-narcotic sedatives are giving them the desired kick. While the cost of a cocktail drug is comparatively less, yet the effect of the stimulant is quite high," said S.P. Byotra, a leading medicine specialist.

"While the cost of two to three grams of cocaine can be as high as Rs.15,000, a cocktail can be made in half the expenditure. It's a new trend among youths from the middle class families," Byotra, who is working with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here, told IANS.

K.K. Aggarwal, president of the Heart Care Foundation of India, said such cases of cocktail are slowly gaining popularity among educated young mass.

"They want to be part of high society but cannot afford costly cocaine or smack. Along with sleeping pills, they also take non-narcotic sedatives like benzodiazepine to mix it with illegal drugs," Aggarwal said.

"But we have found a number of cases where alcohol was used to prepare the mix. A mix of cocaine and alcohol can be fatal.

"Youngsters must learn from the case of Rahul Mahajan and Bibek Moitra and stop mixing these stimulants together. It's a clear instance of drug abuse followed by fatal consequences," he said, adding the number of cocktail drug abuse cases has gone up by at least 25 percent in the national capital.

Rahul, the son of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, is under treatment in a hospital here for a suspected case of drug overdose. Mahajan's close aide Moitra was declared brought dead early Friday by doctors of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Aggarwal said there are two common features between the rich and page three celebrities and the upcoming young generation - late night parties and consumption of drugs.

"The desire to be a part of high society and curiosity to experiment new things are forcing youngsters to take to such addictions. Both peer pressure and fast-paced metropolitan lifestyle are also contributing to the problem," said Samir Parekh, a leading psychiatrist here.

"Since substances like cocaine are too costly, people go for a mix of several non-narcotic and narcotic stimulants and youths are falling prey to such type of innovative ways to stay high for a longer time. But it's very dangerous.

"Apart from medical treatment, victims of drug abuse also need to go through three months of counselling," Parekh said.

A leading doctor of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said the trend is slowly getting wide acceptance among middle class people as well.

"Looking at the current high profile drug misuse case of Rahul Mahajan and Bibek Moitra, people must learn that drugs, whether cocktail or simple, thrills but kills," said the doctor, requesting anonymity.