A dangerous trend is doing the rounds on social media in which youths drink a ground nutmeg and water mixture to get high. The Tygerberg Hospital Poisons Information Centre has identified the worrying trend and are warning parents of the dangers of this experiment.

“Ingesting or inhaling large amounts of nutmeg, more than two tablespoons, can result in hallucinations and delusions and feelings of extreme heaviness in the arms and legs. There may be severe anxiety and a sense of dread. It could result in psychotic episodes that include delusions and hallucinations,” said Carine Marks, Director of the Tygerberg Hospital Poisons Information Centre in a statement.

“Repeated use of nutmeg to get high can also lead to chronic psychosis, characterised by impaired thinking and emotions. Patients with profound depression or agitation, or persistent hallucinations or vomiting should be admitted, because symptoms can last for greater than 24 hours.”

The easy accessibility of nutmeg makes it a go-to substance for children wanting to experiment. As younger children are more easily swayed, they are the most vulnerable.

“There is a willingness among some youth to experiment; if they hear about something, to try it. There is a tendency for some youths to try and see how it works. They say, ‘Someone told me if you do this then you can get high,’ and sometimes it can be dangerous.”

Another social media challenge, dubbed ‘The Egg Challenge” involved participants uploading videos of themselves consuming a raw egg, a spoon of sugar and a shot of brandy/whiskey one after the other. Eating a raw, unpasteurised egg could lead to illness like Salmonella as there may be bacteria in the egg.

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