Shiv Kumar (name changed) posed doctors with a very worrying problem. Currently admitted to a city hospital, the 30-year-old came up with an inaccessible drug’s addiction.
An addiction to an anaesthetic drug among the fraternity is common, but for someone with no connection with medicine, this addiction was worrisome. Kumar is a businessman in Mumbai suffered severe depression until a few years ago. Three years ago, he started getting a respite by intaking Propofol injections.
Propofol is a known medicinal drug that is used to sedate the patient who is under critical treatment.
“When he came to me, I was a little amazed as to how he got the drug. If it is easily accessible, then it is worrisome. He would take 200ml a day through injections. He has been admitted to the ICU even before for the overdose. Currently, he is getting treated for de-addiction,” said Dr Priyanka Mahajan, a psychiatrist at Masina Hospital.
The addiction to this drug is rather rare, say psychiatrists. “People with this addiction are those who generally are into practice like anaesthetisia or so. It can be very lethal to health. The greatest example is the death of Michael Jackson due to Propofol,” said Dr Heena Merchant Pandit, ex-secretary of the Bombay Psychiatry Association and assistant professor at KEM Hospital.
Another characteristic of this drug is that, as it is injected into the body, its effect does not stay for more than 15 minutes. “Given that its effect fades in 15 minutes, anyone who takes it generally would need to consume/take it more, so that the high stays. In any way, it is very scary,” said Dr Sagar Karia, secretary of Bombay Psychiatric Association as well as a psychiatrist from Sion Hospital and LMTG Medical College.