The number of cases of illegal drugs hidden inside instant coffee and milk tea bags, which police surmise is to attract young people to use them, has been increasing over the past two years, Taipei City Hospital physician Chen Liang-yu (陳亮妤) said.
Chen, director of the Department of Addiction Science at the hospital’s Songde branch, said the media have in recent years often reported about crackdowns on illegal drugs in “poisonous coffee” or “poisonous milk tea,” adding that the number of outpatient cases for this type of drug addiction has increased over the past two years.
She said such so-called “poisonous” drinks are usually a mixture of various illegal drugs — including ketamine, amphetamines, ecstacy, “bath salts,” ethylone or other new types of drugs — packed into coffee or milk tea packets.
As these drugs are relatively cheaper and more convenient to market online, many people who used to take ketamine or club drugs have turned to them, Chen said, adding that most users are unaware of what substances are included in the mix.
“The health risks involved with these drugs is not lower than that of first-grade controlled substances,” she said, citing clinical observations that found many people who used such drugs exhibited hallucinations, irritation, an accelerated heartbeat and symptoms of delusional disorders, while some even became aggressive and attacked family members.
In one case, a middle-aged man was taken to a hospital by his wife because of a delusion that his wife and a telecom company were trying to cause him harm, leading him to verbally threaten his wife, Chen said.
Another man carried a knife with him everywhere, because he felt he was being persecuted, Chen added.
Treatment can be complicated due to various mixes of drugs, she said, but added that medical attention from specialists can help people recover from addiction and resume healthy lives.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”