Unless Gerry Daly is suddenly back in vogue, it’s difficult to rationalise how pills for garden plants have become so popular with young people across Waterford and beyond in recent months.
Take the ‘retropills’ product Mitseez, for example, which, according to its label is “novelty plant food only – not for human consumption”.
The product, which is available from one of the two ‘head shops’ now operating in the city, contains two capsules – one half black, the other half red.
Some online homework revealed the following description for Mitseez, which included no details about its benefits to plant life.
“They are finally here! The most E like product you will find! Mitseez are the ultimate, the best you can find. Similar to the recent London Underground Doves, but more affordable!”
To the uninitiated, a ‘Dove’ is an ecstasy substitute – as are similar products known as ‘Fast Layn’, ‘Trip-e’, ‘The Ministry’, and ‘Trace’, for example.
Yet for those young gardening enthusiasts out there (I mean, what 18 to 24-year-old isn’t tending to their roses nowadays?), the Mitseez packaging does include the following, Alan Titchmarsh-type nugget of wisdom.
“For best results, make sure your weeds have plenty of fluids and that no machinery is operated near them.”
On a similar vein, a product branded ‘partEpills’ (yes, with the E emphasised just in case there’s any confusion) advises: “For best results make sure your roses have plenty of fluids and that no machinery is operated near them…especially hedge trimmers.”
Now, there’s a strong possibility that the rapscallions of today are not actually into gardening. Perhaps, lengthy, luxuriating soaks in the tub are more their cup of something medicinal.
Well, if playing with your rubber duck floats your boat, then the city’s head shops have just the soothing substance for you, but only if you’re 18 or over.
Somehow, the implication that anyone aged in double figures can’t run a bath is highly insulting to the near teens among us, but let’s leave that to one side and move on.
How about a soothing sachet of ‘Charge+’, the ingredients list of which reads as follows: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Creatine, Amino Acids Blend, Caffeine, Herbal Blends, Hoodia, Minerals.
By the way, Hoodia is an appetite suppressant sourced from the cacti of the Kalahari Desert, which the native San Bushmen have been eating for thousands of years.
Hoodia has the potential to put televisual headaches like Gillian McKeith out of business – one can only hope – but it’s worth pointing out that it’s completely legal.
And while it’s clear that establishing what Hoodia is doesn’t take too much probing, it’s anyone’s guess what the ‘Herbal Blends’ ingredient could account for in ‘Charge+’.
Having examined its packaging in the company of Sinn Féin City Councillor David Cullinane on Monday, it’s difficult not to feel a tad suspicious when handling an “envigarting (sic) bath salt”.
The white substance comes in a small transparent bag clipped inside its inlay card – and, to anyone who has watched two seconds worth of police drama, for all the world looks like a small amount of cocaine.
According to one user, it leads to “a slight burn when first snorted,” and “a nice confident buzz (albeit) quite short lived”. Re-dosing apparently is required 30 to 45 minutes after your initial snort, which, according to its packaging, will “get you charged for the day”.
But please note: “For best results make sure your bath has plenty of fluid and that no machinery is operated near it.” Boy, whoever makes this stuff really has a hang-up about anyone using it being near machinery – I can’t for the life of me imagine why.
Let’s cut to the chase here: local Gardaí and those working on the frontline in communities across the south east have spoken in recent months about the escalating drug problem, particularly when it comes to heroin.
A Health Service Executive report issued last Autumn worryingly revealed that numbers being treated for heroin in Waterford were above the national average.
Within a two-week period in Carrick-on-Suir last May, 12 people sought help for heroin addiction, the youngest aged only 16.
These statistics, described as “alarming” by Merchants Quay Ireland CEO Tony Geoghegan, suggests that public concern on the drugs issue is more than justified.
And with products, the ingredients of which cannot be verified, now being legally sold to young people in Waterford, Kilkenny and South Tipperary, such concerns will now surely be heightened.