Why the youth in India drink flavoured condoms


The Vice publication has reported that cash-stricken youth in the city of Durgapur in West Bengal, India are drinking flavoured condoms to get high and that flavoured condom sales have skyrocketed. “Earlier, three to four packets of condoms were sold daily. And now packs of condoms are disappearing from a store,” a shopkeeper told the publication.…


The publication adds that flavoured condoms are selling out in medical and general stores in certain parts of India because the youth are buying the condoms and drinking the flavoured water as a cheaper addiction.

Udayan Basak, a polymer chemistry research scholar, told the publication that it is possible to get high from flavoured condoms as they’re made from polyisoprene, a component of natural rubber, and the flavour is imparted by glycerin.

Synthetic resin polyurethane is used in condoms to increase the durability and stretchability of the condom, while the aromatic compounds found in polyurethane are known to cause an intoxicating effect.

“None of this has yet been proven with a practical experiment. But it is believed that ethylene glycol, a kind of alcohol, is produced when the polyurethane breaks down after boiling flavoured condoms in water and [keeping them aside] for six to eight hours,” said Basak.  “Flavoured condoms when soaked in water for a long time are known to [release] hydrocarbons and alcohol similar to [those found in] glue,” explained Sanjith Saseedharan, consultant and head of critical care at the SL Raheja Hospital in Mumbai.   “Like sanitisers, cough syrups, and nail polish removers, flavoured condoms can be bought over the counter at any medical store. A drug of this kind can give a high for up to 12 hours when used in large quantities.”

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Experts warn against drinking flavoured condoms as they can still mess you up even though they do not fall under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act because they contain only small quantities of sedatives.

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“Drinking this water can cause intoxication and addiction. If consumed repeatedly, it will negatively impact the lungs and kidneys, as well as harm the body’s nervous system,” according to Joydeep Ghosh, an internal medicine consultant with Fortis Hospital, Kolkata.”

Condoms are said to contain aromatic compounds that are also found in dendrites glue, hence we hear of drug addicts sniffing glue.

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