Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Hash Brownie, LSD, and DMT: What’s Next?

Lieutenant Colonel Golam Towhid Al Kibria

Hash Brownie, LSD, and DMT: What’s Next?
Lieutenant Colonel Golam Towhid Al Kibria

We got chills when we learned about the seizer of posh narcotics (!), Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) “for the first time in the country” at the end of May this year. According to police, this rare hallucinogenic substance was couriered into Bangladesh before being sold. LSD is a long-lasting psychoactive drug that alters perceptions and sensations, experts opine. It causes profound distortions in the user’s perception of reality that can last up to 12 hours.

Although the use of LSD reached its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, the drug has been around since it was synthesised in 1938, according to an American study. Common slang terms for LSD include Acid, California Sunshine, Hippie, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Yellow Sunshine, and Zen in the USA. In Bangladesh, it is mostly known as Acid.

Before even the awe of finding LSD was over, the detective branch of police seized edible cannabis ‘hash brownies’ again “for the first time in the country” at the beginning of June, which was reported by most of the leading newspapers of Bangladesh.

Interestingly, the curious case of finding a new type of drug “for the first time in the country” did not end there. N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) was seized on June 26, 2021, by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). There is no record of seizing such drugs by law enforcers till that day, making such a seizer a brand new one. For those who do not know, DMT is a hallucinogenic drug like LSD that can be inhaled as smoke or can be injected. That brings us to another point, are there other uncommon drugs on the loose that we do not know about?

Drug trafficking is a common problem for most countries; Bangladesh is also not immune to that. Law enforcement agencies carry out persistent illegal drug busting operations, keeping with the government’s zero-tolerance stance against illegal drugs. Regularly initiated countrywide “war on drugs” to combat the increasing problem is a prime example of the seriousness of the government. However, drug trafficking remains a constant worry because of greedy drug peddlers and kingpins. Even during the corona pandemic, transportation and trading of illegal drugs are continuing.

Earlier, police arrested seven students of different private universities with LSD and three students of different private universities with hash brownies in the capital. This time, two individuals who studied abroad, and two students of local private universities are arrested with DMT. According to news reports, they are all well-educated and from wealthy families.

Wealthy or poor, undeniably, drug abuse affects everyone equally. Consistent drug use alters the chemical processes of the brain, resulting in the degradation of ethical values. According to experts, people who take drugs are more likely to engage in violent behaviour and illegal activities.

Bangladesh Narcotics Control Department employs three prone methods to enforce rule of law in regards to illegal narcotics: demand reduction, supply reduction, and harm reduction. Praiseworthy efforts are on for sure; however, drug consumers and traders seem to be more desperate and innovative. Is it because these drugs are not traded using conventional methods? It is learned that several groups are selling these drugs using social media after collecting those from abroad, mainly Europe, via parcel service or passenger luggage.

 Traders used recognised digital platforms to generate demand and trades. Facebook page ‘Apnar Abba’ was utilised to trade LSD according to police. An Instagram page ‘thebrownieguybd’ was being used to sell the brownies. DMT was also sold through Facebook. Social media platforms are important for freedom of speech, creativity, and connectivity. However, incidents of such kind remind us to put things into different perspectives as well.

Those who are using social media for connectivity must be allowed to do so. Since all these illegal drug trading cases are based on social media, it is time to view this seriously, and put it through systematic scrutiny. A synergic approach by all the law enforcement agencies can prevent this menace. We need to ensure this to protect our future generation.

LSD, hash brownies, and DMT are not common drugs and these are quite expensive as well. Detained individuals are all from wealthy families, as learnt from the print and electronic media. Mostly, the students of different universities and colleges are the main targets of the drug traders. Are we doing enough to keep our young kids under check and balance?

No matter how hard guardians try, there is no guarantee that kids, youngsters, and even university students would not use drugs; however, drug use is less likely to occur if parents play their role. Parents are the best teachers that any child can have, and they have a major role in children’s decision not to use drugs. Parents need to establish clear rules, set examples, monitor children’s activities, and enforce consequences to keep children under control.

To create a positive influence, parents need to spend time together with their children for getting to know them better. Only then, parents can get an idea about the friends and acquaintances of their children.

It is never too early to start a conversation with children about the severity of drug abuse. Remain free and frank, discuss and let your children know that you care for them. Look for activities that the entire family can do for instance: family outings, exploring food, attending programmes together etc. Thanks to the corona pandemic, parents can now spend more time with their kids due to frequent lockdown situations.

Restrict your temptation of using electronic gadgets and pay attention to each other. Turn off laptops, tablets, televisions, and stop using cell phones; spend some family time together. Find ways to involve children in constructive activities to help develop perseverance, demeanour, and character, so that when it comes to a choice, they can strongly say ‘no’ to drugs. No parents should go through the pain of seeing addicted children. Let’s hope that this never repeats.


The writer is a serving

military officer