MANDRAX

What is Mandrax?
Mandrax was first produced in mid 1960's. It is highly addictive and was therefore banned in 1977. It is still illegally sold in South Africa. Mandrax depresses the central nervous system and is classed as a sedative-hypnotic drug. It is called Mandrakes, Mandies, MX, Buttons, Whites and many other names.

Appearance and use.
Originally Mandrax were smooth, firm white tablets with Mx written on the side of the tablet. Nowadays they can also be grey or yellow in colour, slightly freckled and with soft crumbly texture. They vary in colour, size and texture because they sometimes contain other drugs and are made illegally without keeping to proper standards.

Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms lead the person back to having another Mandrax because the person feels so uncomfortable without the drug. The person may find it difficult to say no to drug offers from friends. The person often has money and family problems and finds it easier to use than to face these problems. Often the Mandrax user and their family feel helpless, frustrated and embarrassed.
Everyone may feel some guilt, anger and hopelessness. Everyone in the family can have a chance to talk and be helped.

The Mandrax High
This makes a person feel relaxed, peaceful, calm and happy. Worries disappear and everything feels perfect. However, some people feel irritable, confused and become aggressive when the high wears off.
A regular Mandrax user will probably have yellow/brown marks on the hands and will tend to lose weight. The user may start to steal or use up pocket money rapidly because Mandrax is a fairly expensive habit to support. A tablet costs about R30.

Tolerance and Addiction
The person who uses Mandrax for a while finds it necessary to use more and more. Such a person's body has developed a tolerance to Mandrax and needs to use more to reach the same effects. Mandrax is also psychologically addictive. This means that a person will want it badly enough to start focusing most activities on it. A person may start behaving unusually, for example stealing or lying in order to get it. They may stop going to school or work regularly.

Symptoms of Mandrax use
Mandrax are usually smoked but can be swallowed or injected. Most people crush the tablets, mix them with dagga and smoke them in a pipe or bottleneck. The effects of Mandrax use can last for up to several hours. The person may lose their appetite and have a dry mouth. Often they have slurred or mumbled speech. The person may stumble or stagger because they feel weak and numb. Sometimes stomach pain, nausea and vomiting occur. A person who is drugged from Mandrax will usually have red, glazed or puffy eyes as a result of the dagga mixed with the Mandrax. The next phase is called "earthing"
As the effect of Mandrax wears off, the person feels tired and may go to sleep. Sometimes the person feels miserable or has a kind of "hangover" feeling waking from this sleep.
It is difficult to stop taking Mandrax without the treatment or professional help. Mandrax is also physically addictive. This means that when a person stops taking Mandrax, withdrawal occurs. Withdrawal may last a few days and start a few days after stopping use. Some signs of withdrawal are sleeping problems, nervous, anxious and irritable feelings, headaches, restlessness and eating problems.

The person using Mandrax is often trapped. He or she may want to stop but finds this impossible to do. Counselling is needed along with a very effective "detox" programme.

For more information contact : wecare@flrc.co.za or call Tel: +27 21 859 5308 / Cell: 082 610 6022