Drug dealers in parts of Kampala are now lacing snacks with narcotic substances and selling them to unsuspecting consumers.
Although the packaging is similar to ordinary snacks in supermarket shelves and retail stores, this publication has established that some dealers are now using Opium, Kuber, Ecstasy to Cocaine as an ingredient for biscuits, cookies, cakes and nut crackers. Some of the snacks are a common delicacy for children.
This, according to one of the dealers, is one strategy to sell narcotics and recruit new drug users. A walk through the outlets in Kampala established that like all business, there is a chain of dealers that supply the drug laced snacks to outlets in the areas of Ntinda, Bukoto, Kamwokya, Kisenyi and Kansanga, among others.
Some of the dealers however only speak, meet and sell to individuals who are already known to them and it was through these rules and protocols that one of the consumers ended up becoming our dealer.
The 26-year-old, who preferred being called Gerald, swore to this reporter that it was the first time he was taking the position of a dealer having been a consumer of the snack for some time. He says that after using marijuana for a number of years, he found out that drugs can be easily consumed through snacks.
Their first attempt was at a friend’s party where they were served with cookies and a cake containing opium. He explains that most of the consumers enjoyed the snacks and sought contacts for additional supplies, a few others felt dizzy and euphoric after the party.
The cookies cost between 10,000 and 30,000 Shillings a packet, depending on who and where they are being sold.
Darius Kasule, a Telecom Engineer from Rubaga Division is one of the victims of involuntary drug use. He says that he first tasted a drug laced cake in 2017 while celebrating a birthday of one of his friends Patricia Kemigisha, a student at Makerere University.
“I love cakes and that’s the reason I kept grabbing my friend’s pieces and eating them. It was a sweet cake and I really enjoyed it,” Kasule Narrates. He, however, adds that after about one hour, he started feeling awful and nauseated. He could hardly open his eyes, let alone drive his car. He was laughing uncontrollably and, to his friends, acting funny.
Kasule says that moments later, he became unconscious and was admitted at Norvik Hospital, where he was resuscitated through a drip. Tests that were conducted later established that he had opium in his system.
“I was shocked. I don’t take drugs or even drink alcohol. It was impossible or so I thought until I remembered the cake, “Kasule told this publication.
Dr David Basangwa the Executive Director of Butabika Hospital and a specialist in drug and Alcohol abuse says there is no big difference between inhaling, injecting or eating drugs. The only difference is the rate at which the drugs get to the brain making one for feel high.
Medical experts are calling upon parents to be on the lookout for such dangerous edibles.