‘Drug-Interviews’ is an experimental project of Youthsparks.com where we interview people addicted to different drugs. The motto is to familiarize youth of Bangladesh with the catastrophic effects of drugs on the lives and minds of the youth.
Shagor (Not his real name) has been a Yaba addict since 2007, we requested him for an interview and after promising that his real identity will not be disclosed, he talked to us about his ‘Addict Life’:
Q. So, Tell us why and how did you start taking Yaba?
Well, I started taking Yaba just like any other kid. I used to go to a very renowned English Medium School in Uttara; my parents used to trust me a lot financially and I was kind of like the rich kid in class, I used to lend money to my friends and forget about it. You know how it is in high school, when I started grade-9; I hooked up with this girl from my school, I had friends and ‘Boro Bhaais’, whenever there was a brawl or a fight, the so-called ‘Boro Bhaais’ used to come to the rescue and in return me and my friends used to pay them occasionally. I knew that these ‘Boro Bhaais’ and some of my friends used to consume Yaba regularly and sometimes they would come to me almost begging for money to have Yaba, I used to give them the money and forget about it.
Time went on and after just two months from the time I started grade-9, I took up smoking because my girlfriend thought that it was ‘COOL’ for guys to smoke, having regular ‘Genjaam’s(Brawls) with kids from other schools, I had lost my virginity, and I began wearing my pants way below the waist line. Apparently, the only thing that was right with me at that moment was being mentally strong enough to say no to ‘DRUGS’, that was…. till I found out that my girlfriend was a multiple-timing whore; when I first came to know that my girlfriend was cheating behind my back, it hit me like ‘Shorbo Bangladesh 10 Tonne’ truck, you know what I mean? It was kind of like a series of punches on the balls! It was that bad!! So, the EMO phase of my life started, I started chain-smoking, ripping my hand open with an anti-cutter and I was doing very badly in terms of education. My disgraceful friends took the advantage and asked me to join their ‘Buzzing Party’ and I thought ‘Well, my life is already a piece of shit! So, how worse could it get?’ and that is how it started.
Q. And your experience after consuming Yaba?
Well, the first time after I had Yaba, I started feeling like SUPERMAN, I mean, I felt very strong, good, and happy; exhilarating experience, I could concentrate on my studies like I have never done before. I did not sleep for the night and the next day at school, I bragged to everyone that I had Yaba and all of a sudden, I became this very fearful and popular personality amongst my class and I loved the attention.
Q. Tell us more about that Initial phase and where did you get the money for the drugs?
The initial phase was great; I began taking Yaba more often than not. Each and every hang out that me and my friends would turn out into a ‘Party’ where we would eventually end up having Yaba. At first, I used to study after having Yaba and I began getting good grades too, but as the days went on, my grades hit the rock bottom, but I did not give a flying fuck about education and continued having Yaba. And the money? That, I used to steal from my parents. Either it was out of my father’s shirt-pocket or my mom’s purse or the closet where they kept money. Often, I used to get caught after taking the money, my parents used to shout at me or ground me, but I just did not care. I just had to take Yaba and I was willing to do a lot, if not anything, to continue having Yaba. On some weeks, I used to spend as much as 7,000 taka on Yaba, more specifically on GP.
Q. What is GP?
Well, yeah, GP. There are a lot of classes of Yaba: There is ‘Doc’ or ‘Chompa’ or ‘Straw’ which is like the cheapest Yaba and it costs around 250tk, then there is ‘Super Straw’ which costs around 300tk, and then there is ‘GP’ or ‘R’ or ‘WN’ which will cost you like 700tk nowadays, but those days we used to get it for 400tk. Simply speaking, the better quality ‘Shits’ cost more than the bad quality ‘Shits’ and GP and R are the best of Yabas. However, after the drug raids by the temporary government during 2007-2008; the prices skyrocketed to as much as 1400Tk!! And what’s more shocking is that we were even willing to spend 1400tk on one single piece of Yaba!
Yaba, Alcohol, machineries and ingredients to make Yaba Caught During The Drug Raids of 2007
Q. Fast forwarding a few years, come to recent times, now you live in Dhanmondi and its been 5 years after your initial phase of taking Yaba, how are times now?
You know, times change, people change, but a yaba addict is always an Yaba addict. If you are not born with IMMENSE and I MEAN GIFTED ‘MENTAL STRENGTH’, you will never be able to quit Yaba. I will elaborate, there were a lot of people who used to take ‘Yaba’ with me, the number is over 100 and till this day, I have only come to know one person who could quit Yaba; the rest just gave their lives away to this SHIT! Some of them even passed away just because of this SHIT! (He said these words with a smile on his face, but with tear-filled eyes)
My family shifted from Uttara just because of me, but when I came to Dhanmondi, things took a turn for the worst! You know, the Yaba scene in Dhanmondi is bigger than Uttara. There are dealers in every road, in every coaching centre; I personally know 3 drug dealers only living in Dhanmondi Road#11/a, all dealing Yaba!! And, the Yaba that one gets nowadays are of the worst kind, these ‘sons of bitches’ dealers mix Heroin with Yaba nowadays to make it more addictive. There are drug labs in Mohammadpur where they make Yaba from ingredients of Toilet Cleaners, batteries and what not.. They sell it by the name of ‘Super Straw’ for 200-300tk a piece.
Q. Can you describe the Yaba scene now?
The Yaba scene now is the worst of what I have seen in my entire lifetime, you get to see kids from grade-8 dealing Yaba, earning money and having Yaba with that money. In every friend circle, there is this ‘Madarchod’* friend who will get his friends to have Yaba by saying things like ‘Yaba makes you cool and concentrate on your studies or helps you get good grades’ and that ‘Madarchod’ friend only does that so he himself can sell Yaba to his friends and get money to have Yaba himself!! There are incidents of friends being mugged by other friends for Yaba, incidents of friends stealing money from other friends because of Yaba, incidents of friends blackmailing friends for Yaba and the cycle goes on. And when parents realize that their son/daughter is taking Yaba, they send them to Rehab for a certain period of time, people get out of Rehab, hang out with their FUCKED UP* friends and then start chasing Yaba again.
By this time Shagor was getting pretty restless for his daily dose of Yaba so we decided to sum it up with one question,
Q. Even after realizing how harmful it is, why do you still keep on doing it?
Well, as I said, I am addicted man! I was an addict from the first time I had it, and now I just cant leave it. I have Yaba one day, I wake up the whole night, the next day, I just have to chase Yaba (Chasing Yaba is a method of Having Yaba using a foil, a pipe and a lighter) or else, how am I going to continue my day? I know that this has destroyed my life, I was thrown out of the house, my parents who loved me so much once now act like I am not their son………………………………………………………………………………. (He broke into tears).. my friends are in universities, some of them even got into BUET and you know what? I used to be the best student amongst them… They pretend like they don’t even know me anymore…………… I don’t have any friends, no family, only this shit left in my life (Saying this, he took out a zipper with 4 to 5 Yabas inside)…. If only I had not started taking it in Uttara…………… (sigh)
And with tears dropping out of his eyes, he picked up the thin strip of Aluminium foil kept in front of him, he carefully placed the red coloured pill on it, put the pipe in his lips and clicked the lighter and as I watched him chase the pill on the foil, I thought to myself ‘Was he taking in the smoke or was it the smoke taking him in?’
*Some words posted in the interview are very explicit, however, in our defence, we would like to let you know that we did not want to change a single word from the conversation and keep it as real as possible. Hopefully, you will understand. 🙂