The National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has issued a report regarding a drug substance suspected to be behind zombie-like stances among users in Kenya.
In a report on Sunday, September 10, NACADA noted that a fact-finding mission had established that there is no case of FENTANYL usage so far in the country as feared.
Instead, NACADA found that the youth are turning to using multiple substances to complement heroin.
This trend, NACADA states, is aimed at complementing the potency of heroin which according to studies has reduced.
“We can comfortably confirm that so far, we do not have any reported FENTANYLY case in the country,” NACADA stated.
According to NACADA, the zombie-like symptoms were either caused by high dosage of heroin or combination of heroin and high dosage of Diazepam and Amitriptyline.
Further, the report states that the zombie-like behavior could have been caused by combining heroin with Xylazine which is a veterinary animal tranquilizer.
Risk of Animal Tranquilizer
According to NACADA, the new trend of drug users turning to animal tranquilizers poses a greater risk than before.
The abuse of veterinary drugs reported from the survey, NACADA states, presents a new challenge since the existing life-saving drugs meant to respond to cases of overdose do not respond to substances like Xylazine.
As such, the anti-drugs authority has warned of a looming health crisis in the country that necessitates action from all stakeholders.
NACADA expressed its intention to partner with players from the veterinary sector to ensure closer regulation of veterinary drugs supplies.
How Citizens Tipped NACADA
Moreover, NACADA appreciated the role played by members of the public in bringing the issue to its attention.
Social media users in Mombasa shared photos and videos of the affected youth online triggering a widespread online conversation.
Eventually, NACADA learnt about the cases and instituted a fact-finding mission to get to the bottom of the alarming trend.
“We laud online users who tagged us through all our social media platforms and kept sharing content with us as a call to action,” NACADA said.
In the statement, NACADA urged members of the public to keep up with their role of community policing and report any cases of substance abuse.