Representative Image | Photo: AFP
The phrase “World is Yours” was first used in a 1932 film named ‘Scarface’ which ended with the main character falling into the gutter and dying, afterwards an electric billboard flashed “The World Is Yours.” The more famous drug movie, ‘Scarface’ (1983) immortalised by movie star Al Pacino, also sees the main character dying by falling into a fountain inscribed with the phrase ‘The World Is Yours’. Illicit narcotic drug manufacturers have taken a liking for this phrase and have started using it (WY) as the name for a new kind of ‘pleasure drug’, in order to attract youth.
This drug bears close similarity to the madness drug ‘Yaba’, which also enjoys a strong reputation in youth circles as a sexually stimulating psychoactive drug. Reportedly manufactured in Myanmar, it is the craze of youth in Manipur, and many other parts of India. The WY tablets make users feel surcharged with energy within just 20 minutes of ingesting the drug. The user experiences unbelievable and continuous energy flow, and no desire to sleep. It generates sexual frenzy and uncontrollable lust; hence youth take it as an aphrodisiac. It is said to enhance sex drive, lower inhibitions, delay orgasm, and improve sexual performance and enabling highly erotic, and uninhibited sexual experiences.
WY contains a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine and is typically in round pill form. They are brightly coloured in red, orange or lime green and carry the logo "WY". As a nervous system stimulant, WY works by prompting the brain to initiate the 'fight or flight' response and the user feels refreshed by a burst of energy. It distorts the experience of reality by influencing perceptions of sight and sound. WY is renowned for the feelings of love it invokes. This could be caused by an elevation in brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine.
Sex on drugs may last for several hours, can occur over a period of days, and may involve multiple partners. Using drugs while having sex has very different impacts on the emotional and performative aspects of the sexual experience. After several hours, the user experiences the ‘come down’ and feels decreased appetite, increased respiration, and hypothermia. Post ‘come-down’ effects include irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness.
Many LGBTQ (LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning) people use drugs to transform and enhance their experiences of gender, often in relation to sex. Drugs allow them to express their gender and sexual identities in different ways and challenge traditional binaries. Drugs like WY provide the opportunity to play and experiment with gender.
These sexually stimulating drugs trigger sleep disruption and memory disturbances, especially when coupled with extended sex sessions. Men readily accept these kinds of drugs as libido boosters which are called as “sexually provocative” drugs. These drugs powerfully activate brain chemicals linked to feelings of reward and pleasure leading to increase in sex drive, fantasies, pleasure, performance, obsession, and unusual or risky sexual behaviours. These stimulating drugs are capable of releasing up to 1250 units of dopamine while during sex act the brain normally releases only about 200 units. The result is that the brain can no longer register a natural level of happiness if “sexually provocative” drugs are used, because the neurons which receive pleasurable feelings shut down, unable to register the tiny amounts of dopamine which are natural. The drugs hijack the reward pathways of the brain very rapidly.
Addictions thus begin because users end up taking more quantities of the drug in an effort to feel normal. Presented with an inability to feel regularly happy, the next phase for users is to binge. This involves taking the drugs non-stop without sleeping for as many as three to five days. After this point, the stage named 'tweaking' occurs when the most dangerous and psychotic behaviour occurs. After long periods of wakefulness, the effect of the drug wears off, but the physiological impacts become dominant. Bizarre mental conditions and intense paranoia can occur and there can be exhibition of superhuman strength. Experts refer to this state as self-inducing biochemical warfare.
Over time, the drug's effects on sex life can be very negative. Drugs disrupt all 3 neurophysiologic phases of sexual response (desire, excitement, and orgasm), especially in men, either causing a decrease or loss of libido, impotence (the most common symptom), or failure of ejaculation or anorgasmia. The mechanisms involved are not well understood. Problems likely to occur are decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, delayed, weak, or non-existent orgasms, fertility issues, less pleasurable sex and trouble getting aroused. As long as the brain remains dependent on the drug it will continue to affect the sex life. Regardless of the user’s sexual orientation or gender, drug induced hypersexuality is often associated with unsafe or high-risk sexual behaviour.
When a strong connection has been established between drugs and sex, discontinuing the drug use does not automatically stop recurring thoughts and fantasies about previous drug-related sexual experiences. Whereas these fantasies do tend to decline over time as drug abstinence continues, they are likely to be rekindled with renewed vigour by any return to stimulant use. Women who use stimulating drugs place themselves at risk for developing serious physical and mental disadvantages that may last their lifetime.
Drugs like WY continue to be modified regularly in different clandestine laboratories in various foreign locations making them very difficult to monitor. Scientific information about WY, its identification, and short- and long-term effects are still evolving. Meanwhile WY continues to be promoted as belonging to the category of "fun party drugs", being used in rave, dance party, night club settings, and other social settings frequented by adolescents and young adults. It is extremely challenging to anticipate with certainty all the potential medical consequences that can result from the use of this unknown but popular party drug. Uncertainties about the drug sources, chemicals used to manufacture them, and adulterants, make determining the toxicity, consequences, and symptoms difficult to determine. Whether WY is a ‘love drug’ or ‘sex drug’, its proliferating use points a finger at the degradation seeping into society at every level.
Drug facilitated sexual assault is becoming a routine crime in our society. This happens when the perpetrator intentionally forces a victim to consume drugs or alcohol and thereafter commits the sex crime. A perpetrator may intentionally drug someone, resulting in a situation in which it is easier to commit an assault. Teens with drug problems are more likely to be sexually abused. Drugs give the ‘chemical courage’ to commit violent sex crimes. Drug-facilitated sexual assault cases are on the increase, mostly perpetrated by students on their colleagues, either over love affairs gone sour or for spurning entreaties of love. It is not just the rejected lover alone committing a simple rape but a whole lot of friends ganging up together, spiking the drink of the victim, and committing an orgy of violence, photographing the gruesome scenes and threatening the victim about uploading the photos on the social media. These kinds of cases are being reported on a daily basis in newspapers.
Since drugs impact the central nervous system, it has the potential to also adversely affect driving skills. The role of drugged driving in fatal vehicle crashes has been overshadowed by the significance of alcohol impairment. Laws criminalizing drugged driving are being enacted and enforced in many countries. Alcohol test is to be done within 8 hours of occurrence of accident, and drug test within 32 hours. India also needs to bring in suitable laws that will ensure that in all accident cases alcohol and drug testing is mandatory. Presently, these are all left to the subjective discretion of the authorities, and there is considerable laxity and tardy implementation. Unless the Courts make it mandatory for alcohol and drug testing in every accident case, the high rate of road accidents will keep on spiraling. Insurance companies also need to make Alcohol and Drug testing mandatory for processing any motor vehicle accident insurance claim. This will restrain drunken driving and drug intoxicated driving to a great extent, and consequential road accidents, which is very high in India.
It is also high time for the government to enact laws to make random student drug testing mandatory. Testing students allows for early detection and intervention of teen drug use, which can save them from utter ruination. The advantage of mandatory drug testing is that it will help to reduce student drug abuse in three ways—by deterring drug use, by detecting drug use, and by having spillover effects on other students in the institution as they observe and are influenced by the behaviour of their peers.
Everyday new and fancy sex drugs are entering into the market to entice youngsters. Anti-social and anti-national elements are increasingly resorting to targeted drug administration on young girls to create disruption in society. The government, enforcement agencies, and Courts should act with strong determination otherwise the situation will quickly go out of control and they will be simply overmatched by the resilience of the drug commerce.