MDMA-related deaths rise in Kerala as youths fall prey to drug addiction

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Kochi: Deaths related to synthetic drug abuse are reported in Kerala too, according to mental health experts.

After a study by the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) said the biggest crisis that India might face from 2025 would be the MDMA-related mortality, experts have indicated that such deaths are occurring in Kerala too.

Experts at the Kozhikode healthcare centre point out that such habits are being manifested among the youths of Kerala too, after COVID. 

According to the SSA's study, drug abuse-related deaths were reported among youths in the age group of 25 to 34. Heart attack is the leading cause of death in most people. Other causes are accidents, suicide, and murder. Such deaths reportedly happen within five years of addiction.

Attempts to kill oneself by slitting one's own throat, or killing close relatives or friends for no particular reason are all symptoms of the MDMA's perilous effect on the brain. According to the report of the National Crime Records Bureau, 12 people per lakh died by suicide in India last year, while the rate in Kerala was 26.

Causes of MDMA-related deaths, as per SSA report

Heart attack - 55 per cent, accidents- 30 per cent, suicide - 13 per cent, murder - 2 per cent

Seek help

Dr P T Sandheesh, a senior clinical psychologist at the government mental healthcare centre in Kozhikode, has advised parents to seek help if they notice any abnormal behaviour in their children.

"The MDMA users generally experience depression, loneliness, hopelessness, anxiety, memory loss, and become aggressive. MDMA abuse can lead to mental health disorders, and suicide. Parents should try to seek professional help if they notice any abnormal behaviour in their children,” he explained.

More harmful

The drug mafia is reportedly selling fake chemical substances in Kerala that cause more serious health problems than actual drugs. This was revealed during the tests conducted on the chemical substances seized. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Narcotics Control Bureau conducted chemical tests on the drugs seized from various parts of the country, including in Kerala.

Even some of the ganja seized in Kerala were found to be fake during tests. The mafia mainly hoodwinks those who are new to substance abuse.

Chemical substances, that do not even cost Rs 10 per gram,  are sold in the form of pills or in powdered form for up to Rs 4,000. Most of the users are not able to detect the fraud as these are intoxicating. There are reportedly centres in Bengaluru and Punjab where fake intoxicants are produced on a large scale.

Several chemical substances sold for high prices among the youths in Kerala are not real drugs, and because of this, the prosecution would suffer setbacks during the trial of cases. The chemical substance noted in the mehasar would not be the one cited in the test report submitted in court during the trial, and this would favour the defence.

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