Bluetooth drug high 'impossible'

Nyaope addicts inject themselves with nyaope using a shared syringe and shared blood to get high together. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Nyaope addicts inject themselves with nyaope using a shared syringe and shared blood to get high together. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Published Aug 8, 2017


Johannesburg - 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 Star

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