With synthetic and homemade drugs becoming an increasing problem on the streets of major Turkish cities, police are now refocusing their efforts to eliminate these deadly substances.
Scenes of synthetic drug users in zombie-like states on the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir have raised calls for more action to be taken.
Police have cracked down on the synthetic drug known as "bonsai" in recent years, which reportedly replaced cannabis and ecstasy as the easily attainable drug for young urbanites.
However, police raids on bonsai sellers have pushed dealers to sell other substances. While bonsai is produced outside of Turkey, the new drugs can be made at home, which makes them cheaper to produce and therefore more profitable. The new drugs often contain veronica or damiana leaves laced with chemicals, such as bug spray and acetone.
A statement from the General Directorate of Security said: "These kinds of drugs poison the body quickly. Death is inevitable the second or third time they are used."
The high toxicity of these substances is responsible for the zombie-like appearance of users, who are seemingly paralyzed and totally detached from reality.
In response to the surge in homemade drugs, the General Directorate of Security has prepared a report that advises the interior ministry to take urgent action on the matter.
The report recommends restrictions on the import and sale of certain plant species, including veronica and damiana teas, in hinder the production of the drugs. Likewise, the availability of these plants at herbal shops must be restricted or banned, according to the report.
Turkey is looking to curb domestic drug use. In 2014, the government launched "The Rapid Action Plan Against Drugs" to counter drug abuse and smuggling. The action plan covers all aspects of the struggle against narcotics abused by about 2.7 percent of the population.
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