Friday, 9 January 2009

The latest craze: snorting New Era H

New Era Combination H is a homoeopathic remedy for Hay Fever. Each tub contains 450 tiny sugar pills infused with homoeopathic potencies (ie the merest, virtually undetectable trace) of various different minerals. So, why have I sold out of all my stock twice this week - in January!?

Well, it seems the latest craze among teenagers in Darlington is to crush the pills and snort the powder. Apparently it gives them a buzz.

Now I, like most health food shops and chemists, no linger stock citric acid, which is sad for the home brew enthusiast, but means the addicts have no reason to come into our shops to get this stuff, which they use somehow as part of their drug-taking regime. And we keep a close eye on our Vitamin C powder, which apparently is cut with other drugs to enhance their potency.

But the kids coming in for Combination H don't look like the pale, unkempt, unhealthy ones who shuffle sadly in asking for citric acid. They're just normal looking kids. So, what to do? Keep it off the shelf? But is it harmful? If they use this, could it lead to experimentation with more harmful substances?
Is it just a craze which will die away as quickly as it started? How do these kids know about the stuff and who first discovered its unexpected properties?
It's a mystery to me.

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