New Year parties could be used by peddlers to promote drugs such as Mephedrone (Meph), said the psychiatrist, who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court (HC), asking for the drug to be included under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Dr Yusuf Merchant, chief of the Mumbai-based Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre, has given a list of symptoms, which parents need to watch out for.
“A user will emit a foul body odour. Teenagers using Meph will have bleeding noses, or blisters on their upper lips. A user will often be awake for 2-3 nights at a stretch and
may show a bluish tinge on the lips and fingertips,” said Merchant.
Elaborating on the reasons behind the popularity of Mephedrone, he said, “A gram of Mephedrone costs Rs 150. The 14-19 age group can easily afford it.”
Currently, the police register an offence only under section 328 of the Indian Penal Code for those found to be consuming or selling the drug.
“The current action under IPC is not sufficient and the dangerous drug should be included under the NDPS,” said Avesh Kayser, the lawyer who has filed the petition with Merchant.
According to Merchant, M-CAT is not just restricted to Mumbai. It has reached places such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, New Delhi and Pune.