A report released by the National Police Department has stated that the prevalence of bonzai, a synthetic cannabinoid, has been rising in Turkey and that the number of deaths caused by the substance will drastically increase over the next two years.
According to a report published in the Bugün daily on Monday, bonzai was not even a known substance four years ago, but it has recently been invading the illegal drug market in Turkey. Police highlighted that there are now some 400 varieties of bonzai that can be found in Turkey and the report warned that deaths caused by bonzai could increase in the near future.
The report said that marijuana and bonzai are the two most-used drugs in İstanbul, with 50 percent of the illegal drug market in İstanbul made up of bonzai. Some 30 to 40 percent of the market is composed of marijuana and 10 percent by heroin. Noting that the prevalence of bonzai has been increasing each day, the report also said that the use of bonzai is highly common among students in İstanbul high schools.
Currently, the number of people who have died as a result of using bonsai in Turkey has exceeded 300. Nineteen-year-old Şükrü A. is one of the most recent victims of the drug. He was found dead in a park in the Esenyurt district of İstanbul on Monday after reportedly having used a high dosage of bonsai.
Bonzai is an entirely chemical substance that can cause a rapid increase in blood pressure and heart rate, severe dry mouth, hallucinations, a feeling of hunger, memory loss, temporary blindness and temporary paralysis.
Statistics presented by Republican People's Party (CHP) Kocaeli deputy Mehmet Hilal Kaplan showed that the amount of the drug bonzai seized by police has seen a dramatic increase in recent years.
A prevalence map, presented by the deputy during a parliamentary press conference last week, showed that a total of 44 kilograms of bonzai were seized by the police in 2011, 289 kilograms in 2012 and 350 kilograms in 2013.
Police drug report warns against bonzai use in Turkey
A man, who fainted after he used bonsai, is taken to the hospital in İstanbul in this July 16 file photo. (Photo: Cihan)
July 21, 2014, Monday/ 12:58:01/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL