Few years back, one of the biggest narcotic hauls of recent times took place.
In Delhi, India police seized 4,400 kg of mandrax. The bags of small white pills, probably on their way to South Africa (the world’s biggest consumer of the drug), was estimated at Indian Rupees 2 billion.
That’s a lot of Mandrax. That’s also a lot of money.
India produces the drug for its medicinal value, but like other prescription drugs, good intent has backfired.
What is Mandrax?
Originally advertised in Europe and North America as a non-addictive sedative under trade names like, Sopor, Optimil, and Parest, mandrax was a product of Indian science.
Synthesized in 1951, scientists used ancient Chinese anti-malarial knowledge to isolate the drug.
But what started as a science experiment in an Indian lab, became somewhat of an epidemic in countries around the globe. Not long after the 1950s, mandrax abuse became the legal way to get high.
Even in therapeutic doses (between 150 and 500 mg), mandrax can produce states of euphoria and sensual or intimate moods. These reactions explain the drug’s vicious popularity.
Because of the drug’s history, Mandrax has a huge market in India.
And the market is where the problem lies; India supplies more than it consumes. Thousands of legal and illegal pharmaceutical firms produce and then distribute the drug out of, and across our country.
Major States like Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are among the regions legally and illegally manufacturing mandrax. To manufacture one Mandrax tablet only takes 99 paise—they are sold for around Rs. 40 each.
The profits keep the market afloat in India.
Known as a “party drug,” mandrax rules the nightlife at clubs across Europe, the US and South Africa. Giving its users a unique “rush,” mandrax quickly sends people into euphoria.
Mandrax is smoked or burned and inhaled. Like every other drug, side effects come with the alleged “pleasure.” Strong side effects include:
Serious emotional problems
Mandrax represents another fast-growing drug in India.