‘Blue­tooth’ can­not give you a high

Ex­perts say the new Nyaope craze is a pure placebo ef­fect

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LINDILE SI­FILE

BLUE­TOOTH, a new craze where Nyaope ad­dicts in­ject them­selves with blood drawn from an al­ready high user, has a placebo ef­fect only.

Drug ad­dic­tion spe­cial­ist, Shaun Shelly warned that ad­dicts who used this method of tak­ing the heroin-laced drug were only in­flict­ing pain on their bod­ies and ex­pos­ing them­selves to dis­eases.

“It’s all pain, zero gain. The mind-set and drug ex­pec­ta­tion is a very strong thing. We learn how to use drugs based on our ex­pec­ta­tion of them,” said Shelly, who was one of the speak­ers at the Clin­i­cal Cannabis Con­ven­tion, held at Wits Univer­sity over the week­end.

The con­ven­tion was at­tended by in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal dagga re­searchers and grow­ers. It was aimed at high­light­ing the health and eco­nomic ben­e­fits of the drug and to lobby for its de­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion. Cur­rently Myr­tle Clarke and Jules Sto­bbs, known as the dagga cou­ple, are in­volved in a le­gal bat­tle seek­ing to have the high court in Pre­to­ria re­peal laws ban­ning dagga.

Shelly said his con­clu­sion was based on re­search he did, which re­vealed that it was im­pos­si­ble for the Nyaope con­coc­tion to still be ac­tive af­ter it was trans­ferred via blood from one per­son to an­other.

Blue­tooth has its ori­gins in Tan­za­nia, more than 10 years ago. It was then called “fresh blood” and was used by indigent re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts to ease heroin with­drawal symp­toms.

“The is­sue is that it can­not pos­si­bly give a high or a re­lief. It’s ab­so­lutely phys­i­cally im­pos­si­ble. The rea­son is that the per­son who is in­ject­ing the drug is in­ject­ing a quar­ter of a gram of heroin which is 0.25 grams. That is then di­luted by eight litres of blood (in their body). It’s then drawn out, re-in­jected into an­other eight litres of blood (a sec­ond per­son) and it works out to 0.00000125 grams of heroin, which wasn’t even pure at the be­gin­ning. It’s phys­i­cally im­pos­si­ble for that amount to make any dif­fer­ence in the body. It’s just pure placebo ef­fect,” said Shelly.

Blue­tooth be­came widely known early this year af­ter it emerged that des­per­ate youth in town­ships around Tsh­wane were us­ing sy­ringes to draw blood from one an­other to get high. This ex­posed them­selves to dis­eases such as HIV and hep­ati­tis.

At the con­ven­tion, Pro­fes­sor David Nutt, a Bri­tish psy­chi­a­trist and neu­ropsy­chophar­ma­col­o­gist, fa­mous for be­ing fired by the UK gov­ern­ment for declar­ing ec­stasy safer than rid­ing a horse, stood firm in de­fence of the safety of dagga com­pared to al­co­hol and to­bacco.

Nutt used var­i­ous stud­ies he con­ducted on cannabis in the UK which were later tested in other Euro­pean coun­tries to demon­strate that cannabis was the least harm­ful drug in the world. He said the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s stance to crim­i­nalise cannabis was based on its 1934 re­port which has since “dis­ap­peared”.

Nutt added that the multi-bil­lion al­co­hol in­dus­try was to blame for the crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of cannabis as it funded cer­tain states where dagga is out­lawed.

“No cannabis deaths were ever recorded in his­tory so how does gov­ern­ment jus­tify keep­ing it il­le­gal? A world where cannabis was le­gal, and al­co­hol il­le­gal, would be a won­der­ful place to live in,” said Nutt.

The is­sue is that it can­not pos­si­bly give re­lief

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