Smoking Dead Scorpions Is All The Rage In Pakistan….A Dangerous Addiction
It sounds bizarre, but smoking scorpions is now all the rage in several parts of Pakistan.
The scorpion venom can apparently put the smoker on an intense high, becoming highly addictive with time.
This is done after dead scorpion is dried in sunlight for several hours or a live one is burnt on coal until it dies.
The dried carcass is then lit on fire and the smoke is inhaled.
Since it’s the tail that contains the poison addicts seek, some smokers prefer to crush the dried tail and mix it with hashish and tobacco, smoking it in the form of a cigarette.
“Opium affects are far safer than scorpion smoking. But I started smoking scorpion quite early,” Dawn quoted Sohbat Khan, a regular user, as saying.
Sohbat, who started smoking dead scorpions at the age of 20, used to buy them from a vendor at Jalil Kabab house for just Rs1 or 2.
The supplies fro trade are brought from Peshawar’s Matani area, which is rich in scorpions because of its hot weather.
Sohbat roams around his village hunting for scorpions when the need is too overwhelming. “It’s a worst form of addiction,” he said.
In his 2007 book Drugs in Afghanistan, sociologist David MacDonald provides the account of a friend who witnessed first-hand the effects of scorpion smoke on an addict. “The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, much more than a hashish smoker. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position … the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer,” the book suggested.
The high, it seems, lasts for as long as 10 hours. The first six are said to be painful as the body adjusts to the substance, but the feeling slowly eases into enjoyment and later, intense pleasure. “Everything appears like it is dancing,” recalled 74-year-old Sohbat. “The roads, the vehicles, everything in front of me.”
Experts agree that scorpion venom is highly dangerous for the human brain, far more so than other drugs, especially when inhaled. “Scorpion smoking causes short and long term memory loss,” explained Dr. Azaz Jamal, a medical officer at the Khyber Teaching Hospital. “Smoking causes hallucination, the state where people have perception of something which is not present.” He added that prolonged exposure to scorpion smoke could cause sleep and appetite disorders, and eventually lead to permanent delusion.
According to experts the scorpion venom is dangerous for the human brain when inhaled. Of some 1,750 species of scorpions, 25 are fatal to humans.
“Scorpion smoking causes short and long term memory loss. It also causes hallucination,” the report quoted an expert as saying.
Credit: Oddity Central