Kids are reportedly drinking boiled sanitary pad water in order to get high
Whether it's correction fluid or something altogether more malign, kids will do anything to get high, and there's no low that they won't stoop to in order to do so.
Certainly, in the latest case of The Kids Are Not Alright, it seems there is a new, and rather off-putting method of intoxication doing the rounds among teens in Southeast Asia. And if you're of a squeamish disposition, you may want to stop reading now.
Local officials in Indonesia have been claiming that adolescents are using women's menstrual pads to get high. The youths are purportedly testing their chemistry skills by boiling sanitary products and then drinking the water, all with the intention of getting baked.
According to reports, the adolescents live in abject poverty on the streets of cities such as Kudus, Pati, Rembang and West Semarang.
The kids, who are typically between the ages of 13-16, take the sanitary towels (some of which have been used already) and boil them in water. This distils the chemical gels inside, which gives them a high similar to that experienced by huffing glue.
Commenting on this worrying social issue, Senior Commander Suprinarto, a representative from the National Narcotics Agency said, "The used pads they took from the trash were put in boiling water. After it cooled down, they drank it together... The materials they're using are legal, but they're not being used in a way that's intended, so it ends up being used like a drug. We need to take steps to educate people that there are materials that aren’t classified as drugs or psychotropics in the eyes of the law, but can still be misused."
This is reportedly not a new problem, however, with some experts claiming that this behaviour has been ongoing for a number of years.
Indonesian anti-addiction activist, Jimy Ginting, issued a comment on the rise of solvent abuse and underage drinking in the country, saying "I don't know who started it all, but I knew it started around two years ago. There is no law against it so far. There is no law against these kids using a mixture of mosquito repellent and cold syrup to get drunk."
Sitty Hikmawatty, commissioner for drugs and health with the Indonesian Committee on Child Protection added;
"A lot of these kids are smart, and with the internet they can make new variants and concoctions. This is where the risk factor goes up because they’re only concerned with one substance in a mixture, ignoring the other substances, leaving open the possibility of fatal side effects."
The Indonesian Ministry of Health has since alleged that it will investigate the chemical composition of menstrual pads to ascertain what it is that gets the youngsters high.
The issue has additionally drawn attention to child poverty in the region, as well as the large amount of waste produced by sanitary products.