The Americans are real worried. Apart from the regular drug menace a new “drug” has penetrated their shores and teens are getting hooked to it. Such is the danger that the state of Ohio might even decide to ban this new stimulant.
No, We are not speaking about methamphetamine coming in from Mexico like shown in “Breaking Bad” or opium from the Afghanistan . It is our gutka – a mixture of crushed betel nut, tobacco, slaked lime and other stimulants.
Yes, its is our own product that almost 65 million Indians consume daily.
If Reports in the American media are to be believed then the law enforcement officials in Ohio are alarmed by the increasing numbers of teenagers who are “getting high” on betel nut, basically gutka or chewing tobacco.
The police says that the “substance” has been illegally imported to Columbus city in Ohio from either Nepal or India.
Reynoldsburg Police Chief Jim O’Neill told 10TV, “We believe there’s a euphoric effect but it also seems to affect their equilibrium. There’s a general loss of balance and coordination that goes along with the use of this product.”
They even found a store selling gutka packets for a very low price. And do you know which brand they were selling? Well its our own Tulsi.
After an inspection, the store discarded all the gutka packets. Officials are scanning the entire region for more packets of what they call betel nut.
The real danger of gutka is that it causes oral cancer.
This is why the sale of gutka is banned in many Indian states. The betel nut, also known as areca nut, has been found to contain arecoline, a carcinogenic psychoactive ingredient similar to nicotine. It is one of the key ingredients in the gutka.
In Spite of all this the use of betel nut is quite widespread in South and Southeast Asian nations, where it is linked to culture and tradition.
For thousands of years, betel nuts have been used in traditional events and for normal consumption by both the elite of the societies in the region.
Around half of India’s population chews betel nut in one form or the other. US is only waking to the danger of Gutka just now. Hope they can stop the menace as soon as possible as it will be impossible to stop it once it sinks its ugly roots on the people of the state.