PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The addiction of Scorpion smoking is gradually increasing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where drug addicts have turned to inhale the dry creature in cigarettes as an alternate to heroin, hashish or other drugs to fulfill their demand for intoxication.
Provincial Coordinator of Anti-Corruption and Anti-Narcotics Azeem Ullah told APP Thursday that the scorpion smoking is comparatively higher than heroin because of its easy availability and more effects on human mind and body.
He said a person gets unconscious within 15 minutes of smoking scorpion first time for about 30 hours. A recent survey conducted by the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Narcotics revealed that two per cent of total 11 per cent drug addicts in the province inhale scorpion as an alternate to other drugs, he added.
He said the addicts collect and crush scorpions, dry them in the sun and then make powder of their tails which they inhale with tobacco or hashish.
Azeem said the scorpion smoking was on the rise in KPK where drug addiction was already higher than other provinces.
He said the scorpion smoking completely disturbed a person mentally, who sometimes becomes mad and in some cases dies within no time.
Azeem said some people smuggle scorpions in the name of pharmaceutical companies for use in medicines for cancer and tumor patients. Scorpion venom, he said, contains an acidic fluid.
Imam Sadar from Dir Lower, who is under treatment at a government hospital for scorpion addiction, told APP that he was 20-year old when he first consumed scorpion. He lost his memory soon after the scorpion smoking, he recalled.
Another drug addict Sanobar Khan of Jendy, Charsada district, said he had been using scorpion as drug for a long time. A lot of addicts were known to him who were using the scorpion as drug, he added.
Azeem Ullah said the Anti-Narcotics Department was having discussions on the scorpion smoking with Health Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, KPK Directorate of Information, local police and health officers, social workers and relevant NGOs working in this field.
He called for pragmatic measures to curb such smoking besides setting up rehabilitation centres in the province for treatment of drug addicts.