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Cheap synthetic drug bonsai spreading in dangerous levels in Turkey

Staff Writer |
The cheap synthetic drug known as “bonsai” has spread to dangerous levels in Turkey, with around 500,000 people known to be using the drug in the country, daily BirGün reported.

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There are around 1.5 million drug addicts in Turkey, with approximately a third of them using bonsai, the daily reported.

The number of deaths caused by the chemical drug is also increasing, particularly among young people.

Bonsai was first produced in 2002 as a completely synthetic drug that was designed to replicate the effects of marijuana. It spread around Europe until it started to be banned starting in 2008.

The drug was largely unknown in Turkey at the time but entered police records for the first time in the country in 2010. The number of bonsai users has sharply increased since then.

The drug is even sold online on websites which ostensibly sell fertilizers. Internet users that purchase bonsai on such sites usually receive delivery in three to seven days.

Bonsai has spread rapidly due to its low price and large number of suppliers, according to BirGün. Even though it costs nearly the same as heroin, bonsai can be sold in small amounts, reducing the price for the user.

Another factor resulting in bonsai’s spread is the fact that the drug cannot be spotted easily as addicts seem to be smoking normal cigarettes.

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