NCDA Warns Persons – More Potent Drugs on the Streets

Story Highlights

  • The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is reporting changes in the content, composition and varieties of narcotics surfacing on the nation’s streets.
  • Substance Abuse Officer at the NCDA, Daniel Brown, noted for example that the variety of marijuana being consumed is to a great extent “much different from (the type used) years ago.”
  • Mr. Brown recommended that adults increase monitoring of their children in order to ensure they do not fall prey to the peddlers of illicit products.

The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is reporting changes in the content, composition and varieties of narcotics surfacing on the nation’s streets.

Substance Abuse Officer at the NCDA, Daniel Brown, noted for example that the variety of marijuana being consumed is to a great extent “much different from (the type used) years ago.”

Mr. Brown said research shows that the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana, which is the active ingredient, has increased significantly from six and eight per cent to approximately 40 per cent in the last 40 years, “making it much stronger and more dangerous and potent.”

He was speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, at the agency’s head office, in Kingston.

He further cited the emergence of two hybrid drugs, commonly known as ‘hookah’ and ‘grabba’.

Grabba, the substance abuse officer explained, is basically tobacco leaf or marijuana mixed with one or several substances such as red herring, and chemicals, which is then dried and consumed.

He explained that hookah primarily comprises tobacco products mixed with flavoured ingredients such as strawberry, chocolate, and mint.

Mr. Brown highlighted another relatively new and emerging but worrying trend known as ‘vaping’.

This, he explained, entailed the use of an inhalation device known as a vaporiser, which is available locally in the electronic (e-) cigarette form.

“What many students are doing is removing the e-cigarette cartridge, which contains nicotine, and replacing it with the liquid form of THC. The process involves applying heat to the liquid, which generates vapour that is inhaled,” he outlined.

Mr. Brown lamented the apparent relative ease with which youngsters are able to access the illicit substances, noting that some vendors have found ways to entice children into using them.

Against this background, he underscored the importance of and need for heightened public awareness, focusing on parents.

Mr. Brown recommended that adults increase monitoring of their children in order to ensure they do not fall prey to the peddlers of illicit products.

JIS Social