Young Nigerians are now mixing methylated spirit and Coke to get high
We seriously need to talk about this generation’s drug problem.
Pulse Nigeria has warned young people are drinking a mix of methylated spirits and Coca-Cola to create a cocktail that gets them high.
Methylated spirits, also known as denatured alcohol, are any liquids that contain ethanol and additives to make them undrinkable.
They are often used as fuel or solvents.
It’s not clear why people are drinking methylated spirits nor how widespread the problem is.
Why would anyone drink methylated spirit?
This unholy mixture is yet to have a name but from all indications, it is catching on fast.
In recent months, the drug culture among Nigerian youth has drawn increased attention.
Young people across the country are turning to an assortment of drugs, herbal and pharmaceutical, in a bid to fight what has been described as a deathly wave of depression.
That and a wave of disillusionment at the lack of opportunities have been blamed for a culture of abuse that stretches from Lagos to slums in Kano where codeine can cost the same as a plate of food.
But this new drift towards mixing and creating new substances is even more troubling and defies simple explanation.
The term “Science Student” from Olamide’s song of the same title refers to young persons who mix intoxicating substances of various kinds to achieve an intense high that they can vary to suit their desires.
Coca-Cola is a beverage that nearly everyone is familiar with but we can’t say the same for the other guy.
Methylated Spirit is basically alcohol made for general medical and pharmaceutical use that has been made unfit for drinking by the addition of about 10 percent methanol and typically also some pyridine and a violet dye.
A drug epidemic
These additives make it taste bad and more importantly, poisonous.
Mixing this spirit with coke might douse the bad taste but it doesn’t change the fact that in a bid to get high, young people are slowly doing irreparable damage to their own bodies.
Drug abuse has now become a hydra-headed monster. As appealing as the idea of placing stringent rules on the sale of drugs may seem, it is too obvious that it does nothing to solve the problem.
A good place to start would be tackling the causes of the issue and giving young people a chance in a country that tells them one too many times that they do not matter.
Most of these cocktails are made by young men who do not know better.
It would go a long way if agencies and schools could teach the perils of drug abuse beyond a page or two in social studies and the weekly sermon that promises hell for all sinners.
As it stands, we’re headed for an epidemic of epic proportions. Right now, our conversations are mostly about the economy and government and the depth of our untapped potential.
But if we ignore this problem, we may lose a large chunk of the youth we seem so proud of yet so eager to ignore.
Methanol & Methylated Spirits
Methanol is an incredibly dangerous and potentially life-threatening spirit that causes high toxicity in humans if ingested. Methanol can cause damage to the optic nerve and may cause permanent blindness.
This chemical is very similar to ethanol (drinking alcohol) and is light, colorless and flammable. When first ingested methanol causes a range of adverse symptoms which include headaches, nausea, lack of coordination, depression, confusion and unconsciousness. In large doses methanol can cause death. Secondary symptoms can take up to 30 hours after ingesting to occur and include blurring and loss of vision, respiratory depression and acidosis.
Methylated spirits are another dangerous chemical that may be consumed by some people as a substitute spirit. Also known as denatured alcohol, methylated spirits is pure alcohol with additives that are bad tasting, poisonous or change the color of the alcohol.
It is not a chemically altered ethanol molecule rather a mixture of chemicals. Methylated spirits are used as a solvent, for fuel and other industrial uses. It can cause blindness, severe nausea and death if it contains methanol.