Are you aware there are some sweets, queen cakes, blackforest cakes, buns, mandazi’s and cookies being sold in supermarkets, shops, confectioneries and other outlets -that are laced with bhangi? Yes, those yummy things that we love snacking on with our tea, and which we also indulge in our children in -could actually contain bhangi? Yikes!!!
Me, I first heard about bhangi-laden cookies about five years ago. I knew they were mainly distributed during house parties for adults. But now, I understand that these drug-laced cookies -and now blackforest cakes, lollipops and mandazi’s are in the hands of some of our children. Our children are both consumers and peddlers of the drugs.
How this is happening is that youngsters are selling this stuff to their peers. Basketball courts, pool tables and soccer pitches are today the prime spots for these activities, according to one teacher at a boys’ boarding school I recently spoke to. Her students shared with her that the open sale of drug-laced bitings are common in these places today, and they are sold them by their friends, not adult drug peddlers.
How it happens is that at the start, the friend offers the teenager a cookie for free for a couple of days, then when sure he’s hooked, he begins selling it to him. Yet these are the places where we think are safe for our children. I mean, if your teenage son tells you he’s going out to play basketball for a couple of hours, won’t you be delighted, relieved that he is atleast going to keep himself engaged in a constructive activity? Well, that may not be the case anymore, because drugs are being sold to our children in some of these ‘safe spaces’. That is where they are getting introduced -and hooked to drugs by their peers. *Sigh*.
Take heed of this alert by the Ministry of Health about this issue.
No!This sounds unreal!
Heeeeh very real! What is even scary is that they are found in supermarkets also?????
As a mother of 5 (1 teen and 2 pre-teens) this terrifies me. I have talked with other parents and I am shocked how many parents didn’t even know about this. I first heard of drug-laced treats when I was in college in the US. They would get passed around at parties. Students would also use them to stay awake nights in order to study or finalize term papers and projects. They were mainly in the form of cookies, brownies, candy and even jello laced with vodka and minced marijuana. The problem with ingesting drugs in this form is that it causes hallucinations, violent stomach aches, vomiting, dizziness, anxiety and can even lead to death. Last year in the US, 9 deaths were reported in Colorado and 12 deaths in California and 26 poisonings. In March this year a 2 year old died after unknowingly ingesting grape soda laced with methadone that belonged to the babysitter in Alabama.
This news report is quite limited. Just talk to teens they will tell you where and how to get these drug-laced treats. Other than school events, fairs and sporting events peddlers are also targeting malls popular with teens. Communication with our children is key. Children and teens start using drugs for many reasons. Curiosity or the desire to fit into a social group are common ones. Some teens have a network of friends who use drugs and urge them to do the same (peer pressure). For some, drug use begins as a means of coping—to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, boredom, and other unpleasant feelings. But in fact, being high can be a way of simply avoiding the problems and challenges of growing up.
We need to talk openly with our children and stay actively engaged in their lives. Share information on drugs and drug abuse with them. Be honest!
Thanks Mama Azizi for your insightful response. Indeed, we need to talk to our children openly and keep them engaged, as this can let us in on their lives. It’s quite worrisome though, especially to learn that these products are now in supermarkets. I mean, getting from vendors who you know engage in such trade is one thing, but supermarket shelves? I sure didn’t see that one coming.