Struggling youths in Zimbabwe are turning to a number of dangerous substances and concoctions in their quest to get high for the least amount possible. Some of the more adventurous youths have turned to sniffing “jolly juice” and drinking concoctions made from boiled diapers and mosquito repellents.
Some of the youths say they started using some of these dangerous experimental substances because they are too poor to buy the regular drugs and alcohol that they used to consume. The ghetto youths say that they can get high for as little as R10 (ZWL $50) from the concoction made from boiling diapers and mosquito repellent.
One youth who spoke to the Sunday News told the publication,
“Boiled liquid from diapers and sanitary pads tastes bitter. If we had money, we would buy broncleer a cold (treatment) syrup, which costs 100 rand.”
Another youth, Thabo told the publication,
“I have been drinking boiled diapers for more than a year now as a way to subdue the pain from challenges that I have been facing. My problems began when I impregnated a girl that is the same age as I am…
“I hope you can understand the predicament I was in and it is because of it that I found solace in drinking liquid from diapers and sometimes I would mix it with a mosquito repellant and inject it into my system for faster effect.
Thabo went on to say that the boiled diapers concoction also helps him with his insomnia. However, he is worried that he is now addicted to the concoction.
“Throughout that time, I had insomnia and therefore by doing so, I could at least sleep for even two days straight with my mind at ease. I started off smoking weed and drinking broncleer.
“I took it as an adventure but I did not know that I would end up being addicted to drinking boiled liquid from diapers to an extent of injecting it into my veins.”
Other youths have taken to sniffing Jolly Juice to get high. Jolly Juice is a fruit drink powder that is sold all over the country. The fruit drink power contains acidifiers, artificial flavours, colour additives and sweeteners. A sachet of Jolly Juice costs ZWL $15.
A headmaster at a school in Victoria Falls told online publication CITE,
“This began during last year’s Covid-19 lockdown and we started witnessing it when schools opened this term.
“Through our investigations, we established that the problem is more prevalent among Grade 3 up to Upper Six students.
“We visited a nearby tuck-shop and they told us that those powders are in high demand among students at my school and that explained the whole addiction problem.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said that it was aware of the scourge and called on parents to be more responsible about safeguarding their children.
“We have heard about the issue of learners who smoke Jolly Juice powder, but we can’t ban it as the ministry because it’s something that is bought by the parents.”
“The issue of monitoring the children does not fall on the shoulders of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
“Discipline starts at home, so if you as a parent do not monitor or discipline your own child when they engage in such mischievous behaviour to make them pure and responsible citizens, l think that is expecting too much from the government.”