New Delhi: A dead scorpion is first dried in sunlight or burnt on coal, and then crushed into powder before using it in cigarettes to get high.
Although traditional drugs like opium are still widely used by addicts, smoking dead scorpions to get a similar 'kick' seem to be emerging as a new trend in Pakistan, particularly in the north-western khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.
“Opium affects are far safer than scorpion smoking. But I started smoking scorpion quite early,” Dawn quoted Sohbat Khan, a regular user, as saying.
Sohbat, who started smoking dead scorpions at the age of 20, used to buy them from a vendor at Jalil Kabab house for just Rs1 or 2.
The supplies fro trade are brought from Peshawar’s Matani area, which is rich in scorpions because of its hot weather.
Sohbat roams around his village hunting for scorpions when the need is too overwhelming. “It’s a worst form of addiction," he said.
Although it is the scorpion's tail that addicts really want but its poisonous venom makes for dangerous addiction, the report said.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, some people mix the burnt tail with hashish and tobacco to smoke it in a cigarette. Sohbat said that the method varies from person to person but he prefers to use it in a small pipe to inhale the smoke.
“The high lasts for almost 10 hours. The first six hours are more painful, as the body adjusts to the high,” the report quoted him as saying.
According to experts the scorpion venom is dangerous for the human brain when inhaled. Of some 1,750 species of scorpions, 25 are fatal to humans.
“Scorpion smoking causes short and long term memory loss. It also causes hallucination,” the report quoted an expert as saying.