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Doda, a Ground Opiate Poppy Used for Tea – Is a Growing Problem in Vancouver

Police in Vancouver Canada say ‘doda’ an opiate product that is easily bought under the counter in pawnshops and video stores, is a big problem in south Asian communities within the region. Area police just discovered a field of 60 000 poppy plants destined to feed the area’s growing hunger for the drug.

Doda is fairly commonly used in India and Pakistan. It is an opiate drug that is made by finely grinding the entire poppy pod into a fine powder that is consumed, typically in an opiate tea. Although it’s not as potent as refined products like heroin, it can cause similar effects and it is addictive – and illegal.

Consuming doda can lead to euphoria and a burst of energy, as well as less pleasant side effects like nausea and dizziness. In large quantities, it can cause a fatal overdose.

Dr. Gulzar Cheema of Vancouver says that in some communities, doda is as commonly used as marijuana and that addiction is a growing problem. He says that for those that develop an addiction to the opiate product, the recovery process can be very unpleasant, describing symptoms such as "loss of appetite, tremors, panic, panic attacks…You get stomach cramps; some people get diarrhea and vomiting."

Rajpal Singh, who works as an addictions councilor in the Surrey B.C. region says that among the South Asian community, Doda addiction is the second most common problem – and says that the situation is getting worse, saying, "It's spread a lot and it's spreading more. It is a big problem."

Police say that they believe an organized crime syndicate is behind the massive field of poppies just discovered. Two men who were employed to tend the crop have been arrested.

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