25 Oct Dangerous Synthetic Drug Bonzai Sweeping Turkey
Synthetic and designer drugs have been a problem in the U.S. for years. As lawmakers and law enforcement officers do their best to outlaw and police these drugs, drug makers change the formulas and slip under the radar once again. Many of these drugs are supposed to be synthetic forms of marijuana, but no one really knows what’s in them. This makes for a dangerous recipe. In Turkey, young people are using a new synthetic product called bonzai with fatal consequences.
Bonzai and Synthetic Marijuana
Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. Users get a high from it because it contains thousands of psychoactive compounds called cannabinoids. The main one is THC, and it’s this substance that makers of synthetic marijuana try to imitate. They synthesize chemicals in the lab and spray a solution of those chemicals onto some type of dried plant matter that resembles marijuana. They sell the product masquerading as something legal, like incense. Anyone using these products has no way of knowing what they contain.
Bonzai in Turkey
A new version of a synthetic marijuana product has cropped up in Istanbul and is wreaking havoc. Young people are drawn to the product because it is cheap, readily available and promises them a high. Whatever is in the synthetic product is causing serious harm to many of the users. In just a two-week period, 25 people were admitted to an emergency room after using bonzai. Of those, two died.
Most of the people needing emergency treatment after using bonzai have been teenagers, but there have also been a few children affected. The drug has been causing a number of troubling symptoms in users, including violent and schizophrenic behaviors. While most of the people admitted to the hospital simply passed out after using the drug, some lashed out and attacked others. They ended up in the emergency room for injuries caused by their violent outbursts. In the hospital, the behavior of the patients has been so extreme that doctors and nurses have needed to physically restrain them.
Bonzai is also being blamed for causing other serious health issues in users, including rapid heart failure. With regular use, bonzai can also cause liver failure and kidney failure in just a few months. Istanbul has not been alone in seeing bonzai-related tragedies. Other areas of the country have been hit as well. The Ministry of Family and Social Policy in Turkey is working on a plan to eradicate bonzai from the country. The efforts include rehab for addicts and a campaign of awareness and education.
Synthetic marijuana has been a problem in the U.S. as well. In August, a teenager in California went into a coma and died after smoking synthetic marijuana. New Hampshire is also seeing a resurgence of synthetic marijuana with 44 overdoses caused by a product called smacked. The governor declared a state of emergency and warned the public about smacked, which is sold in convenience stores.
For young people, the allure of a product that is sold as a legal substance and promises to get them high is tempting. It is important that parents and other adults are aware of these dangerous drugs and educate teens and children. With greater awareness and education, kids will be empowered to make better choices.
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