Teenagers are now using menstrual pads to get high by boiling the sanitary product and then drinking the water, Indonesian officials have warned.
Several local newspapers, including the Jakarta Post, Jawa Pos and Pos Belitung, have reported about the worrying trend in recent weeks.
Both new and used sanitary pads are said to be obtained by young Indonesians looking for a cheap and legal way to get high.
The chemicals in the sanitary pads give those who drink the resulting concoction a feeling of ‘flying’ and hallucinations, according to the Indonesian National Drug Agency, BNN.
Police on the island of Java, home to the capital Jakarta, have arrested several intoxicated teenagers who later revealed they had gotten high from the unusual ‘sanitary pad formula’, Straits Times report.
“The used pads they took from the trash were put in boiling water. After it cooled down, they drank it together,” Senior Commander Suprinarto, head of the BNN in Central Java, said.
A 14-year-old boy from Belitung Island, east of Sumatra, who admitted to getting ‘drunk’ by boiling unused sanitary pads, described to a local newspaper how he creates the concoction.
A pad is removed from its wrapper and boiled for about an hour, after which the water is cooled.
The sanitary product is squeezed into the container, after which the water is drunk, he told Pos Belitung .
Describing the resulting beverage as ‘bitter’, he told the newspaper he and his friends drink it ‘morning, afternoon and evening’.
The newspaper also reported that nappies had been used to achieve the same ‘legal high’ drink.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health is now investigating what chemical is extracted in the boiling process to cause the ‘high’, Vice reports, quoting a local news website.