Officials Concerned about New Opiate Derivative

Doda is the name for a new opiate drug of abuse and addiction that is popular in the Asian community. Doda tea is widespread in Canada and may contribute to heroin and OxyContin addiction and overdose.

Experts in Canada report the growing use of a relatively new form of opiate among the members of South Asian communities in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.  The addictive substance, known as the opiate doda, is a powder made from the ground seed pods and husks of opium poppies.  The powder is used to make a type of tea that has become as common as marijuana among some segments of the population.

The consumption of doda opiate tea originated in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.  According to Dr. Gulzar Cheema of Vancouver, the use of doda in Canada has been on the rise for several years.  It’s available under the counter in many video stores, pawnshops, meat shops and other businesses.  Since doda is derived from opium poppies, it’s a highly addictive substance.  The immediate effects are not as potent as heroin, but the cumulative impact of its use can be devastating.  Like heroin, an overdose of doda can be fatal. Withdrawal from doda dependency is difficult, with physical symptoms including:

•    Tremors
•    Stomach cramps
•    Vomiting
•    Diarrhea
•    Panic attacks.

Doda – A Hidden Threat

Because opiates often provide a sense of euphoria and a burst of energy, doda use is spreading among workers who are looking for a boost during a long shift.  This includes factory workers and truck and taxi drivers.  Some users also believe that doda can enhance their sexual performance.  Unfortunately, the energy boost provided by doda is followed by a feeling of extreme tiredness, leading most users to crave more of the substance.
Users of doda often may not realize they are consuming a form of opium.  Ingesting a tea that provides energy may seem harmless and in keeping with traditional customs.  The hidden threat of doda is that many people who would never consider smoking opium or injecting heroin may unknowingly become addicted.  Opiate doda is an insidious gateway drug.  Once addicted to the effects of doda tea, a user may seek out harder drugs that provide relief for the physical and psychological craving for opium.

The Spreading Doda Problem

Law enforcement officials in Vancouver have been aware of an increase in the use of doda, but have not actively pursued users of the drug.  However, officials in some smaller towns began to notice people lined up outside shops that sell doda.  This led to prosecution of some shop owners who have engaged in the sale of doda.  With evidence that high school students have begun to experiment with doda, local officials are now seeking action from the Canadian federal government.

The dried poppy plants that are used to make doda often enter Canada from the U.S. through legal channels for use in flower arrangements.  Drug enforcement professionals in the U.S. are watching the situation in Canada with interest and wondering if doda opiate will soon become a problem here.

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