Young Africans love affair with Crystal ecstasy
Ecstasy commonly known as MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is now the most popular synthetic drug among Africans youth. Also known as molly, the drug is know to alter mood and perception of users. Africa’s emerging middle class has caused a record rise in the use of the pricey illicit party drug, which saw a ten-fold sales of pills last year according to narcotic detectives working in sub saharan Africa. Ecstasy is known to produce feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception. It was initially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties in major urban areas like Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos, Accra, Abuja, Luanda among others but the drug now affects a broader range of African population. Latest data that I have has found ecstasy is on the rise among young Africans, with the drug increasing in purity and strength.The data shows that nearly 50 per cent of users took ecstasy in a high-purity crystal form and found a significant number of users are bingeing on stimulants for up to a whole day.The data also shows the drug is now more accessible than ever before, with 80 per cent of users involved in the research describing it as easy to obtain, compared with less than 10 per cent just three years ago.It is reasonable to assume that increased purity, coupled with uncertainty around the amount of the drug being taken, increases risks.The majority of ecstasy users do not use frequently, however a significant minority are using weekly or more. In addition, users say they have used it for more than two days as stimulants. In high incomes cities like Johannesburg, Abuja, Cape Town and Nairobi, ecstasy users do so weekly or even more frequently. It was also found that they were more likely than the rest of the population to take it in larger amounts.However, the report also found use of MDMA crystals was most common in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, with three quarters of ecstasy users saying they had used it this way in the past three months.The research suggested MDMA in crystal-form is most easily obtained in South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.Angola had the lowest rate of ecstasy use in the countries surveyed, although it did have the highest rate of people who selected alcohol as their drug of choice.
Most other drugs, including alcohol, cocaine and LSD and mushrooms, have remained consistent among African youths.Your blogger knows of a case where narcotics detectives from a western country swooped on intelligence officers of unspecified country in a hotel parking lot recently and apparently they were never charged with possession of intent to distribute thousands of ecstasy pills and several hundred grams of crystal methamphetamine in an East African country because bosses of the anti narcotic unit were reluctant. Although the said intelligence officers worked for the local anti drugs unit, they were found to be aiding manufacturing and supply of the drug in the region mainly targeting affluent suburbs in East African region.Crystalline methamphetamine manufacture, trafficking and use remains the most significant drug threat in Africa.A large share of the crystalline methamphetamine trafficked to Africa originates from China, Iran and Middle East. Significant quantities of crystalline methamphetamine and ecstasy are also manufactured domestically in clandestine laboratories using precursors and essential chemicals smuggled into Africa or diverted from licit trade. Countries with such underground laboratories are South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Angola and recently Namibia according to Africa’s dark web.Despite the ecstasy popularity, drugs users data show heroin remains the primary drug used in Africa urban areas while amphetamine-type stimulants known as STS are the drug of choice for new drug users.The top three drugs favoured by Africans in 2016 were heroin, crystal meth and cannabis.Transnational drug trafficking organisations also seem to be increasingly favouring Africa as both a destination and transit country for MDMA.The decreasing number of Asian drug couriers arrested may possibly be due to an increase in the smuggling of methamphetamine in crystalline and liquid form to Africa, mainly by sea cargo.Moreover, recent indicators suggest that Chinese and Iranian nationals are also involved in methamphetamine manufacture in the countries i mentioned earlier.With ecstasy again readily available, there are renewed calls for war on drugs to be taken a notch higher.Users in Africa don’t know what is in the ecstasy pills they’re taking and a lack of quality control can result in death.There is hard evidence that concrete pellets and malaria pills are being sold off as ecstasy in pharmacy shops in Africa and many others are laced with rat poison and other deadly chemicals.Me thinks a program designed to deter people from taking ecstasy which also improves the safety for those who aren’t deterred is needed to help curb the problem of MDMA in Africa.