- 5.7% 10-19 years old pupils and students admitted to having ever used the designer drug
- Second drug abused after dagga or marijuana
A survey among 10-19 year old students has revealed ‘sextasy’ to be the second abused drug after marijuana in that age range.
The first Botswana Youth Risk Behavioural Surveillance Survey, which was conducted in 145 schools from the Ministry of Education and Skills Development regions, showed that youth got involved in the use of drugs from a young age; it indicated that from the sampled population of students, 14.9 per cent reported having used marijuana, 5.7 per cent used sextasy, followed by cocaine at 5.6 per cent and ecstasy at 3.7 per cent.
Furthermore, the survey revealed that 20.5 per cent of the students who are less than 19 years old have had sexual intercourse, with 39.3 per cent saying they had had sexual intercourse in the past 12 months. Of the students who had experienced sexual intercourse, 19. 1 per cent had sexual intercourse for the first time before reaching 13 years of age, while 19.3 per cent revealed that they had had intercourse with two or more people in the past 12months.
Sextasy (sex and ecstasy) is a drug cocktail of Viagra and ecstasy. Usually called Hammer Heading in countries where its use is common because of the pounding headache it causes, it is used in clubs and rave scenes. Speaking in an interview with The Gazette, a pharmaceutical consultant at Motaki Medical (Pty) Ltd, Daniel Kekwaletswe, said the recreational drug is a street combination that has a devastating effect on individuals who use it.
He said Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction, a condition which disables a man to maintain an erection necessary for satisfactory sexual intercourse. “Ecstasy on the other hand is known to produce intense feelings of pleasure, empathy, warmth and happiness,” Kekwaletswe said, adding that it also makes people experience a stimulating, speedy physical effect. Once swallowed its effects are felt within an hour before building up rapidly. “They build up and come on in waves within the first two hours, strengthening with each pass. A lightness of mood and relaxation gives way to waves of physical pleasure, euphoria and openness to others around the user. Awareness of touch is strongly heightened and sexual activity may be more satisfying,” he said.
Kekwaletswe said the ecstasy produces an irresistible sexual desire while also constricting blood vessels, thereby inhibiting erection. “Users then take Viagra so as to produce an erection, and will go on to have an all night of partying and sex,” he remarked. The ill effects of ecstasy include heart problems and painful erections that usually last for hours; Kekwaletswe said though not much has been written about sextasy, using the drug may lead to sexually transmitted infections and HIV due to the risky sexual behaviour associated with being ‘high’; it may also cause death.
Meanwhile,Officer Commanding, Botswana Police Narcotics, Flora and Fauna Unit, Senior Superintendent Miriam Kilano said her unit was not aware of the combined drug’s existence in Botswana. However she said they will work around the clock to investigate it, as people’s lives may be in serious danger if they are experimenting with a combination of illegal drugs.