August 22, 2013
TEENS SHOCK SELVES TO GET HIGH?
Diandra Grandison, Staff Reporter
The STAR understands that there is a new trend surfacing among teenagers where they are intentionally electrocuting themselves in an effort to get 'high.'
Information reaching THE STAR is that persons are inserting wire hangers or pieces of metal into outlets and intentionally shocking themselves to get what they refer to as a 'buzz' or a surge of energy.
THE STAR recently spoke with a woman who told our news team that she was aware of a case in which a man caught his 15-year-old son attempting the dangerous act.
"We were having a discussion at the shop when the man told us that he recently caught his son pushing a nail in an outlet in the wall, he said when he asked him why? He said is a new thing at school that they were trying out to get high," she said.
THE STAR further spoke to a principal of one insitituion who said he was not aware of the trend. However, another source in his 40s told our news team that the practice has existed for some time.
He said that he and his colleagues during their teens used to partake in the activity.
"I did it back when I was in high school, I had a friend that was always fascinated with electronics from a young age and he showed me how to do it. It became a thing for a little circle of us, when I did it, I got an adrenaline rush from it, we used to use coat hangers or whatever we could find and stick it in an outlet," 42-year-old Alex Tenson* told THE STAR.
Tenson told THE STAR how shocking himself helped with his exam preparations during his teens.
"I used it to stay awake while studying, after I did it, my heart would be pounding a little more and I'd be up and energised, no coffee nuh wake me up like it," he said.
When asked if he was not fearful for his health, he responded, "No, it was controlled voltage, we used 110 voltages when we did it, it might burn the finger but it wouldn't hurt you, we just stick the metal in, natural survival instincts would tell you to let go if it was hurting you."
He also said "It's not bad for you, it's actually good for you, I did some reading at the time and it said that getting shocked pumps adrenaline."
Dr Lori-Ann Henry-Johnson of the St Catherine Health Department told THE STAR, however, "Scientifically, I have no proof that would encourage this; I have never come across that in my readings."
She stated, however, that electricity is often used to treat certain types of illnesses and health complications.
"In medicine, we have two treatments that use electricity, we use shocking to help with psychosis in mentally ill patients and for the resuscitation of the heart when the heart stops beating."
She was also quick to add that these procedures are monitored and use a specific amount of voltage.
Dr Henry-Johnson warned, "It's very risky and these people should be concerned about electrocuting themselves."