Warning! Your teen could be on Viagra
Posted Tuesday, December 21 2010 at 16:59
- Internet porn and greedy pharmacists are immorally exposing the youth to virility drugs
- Driven by starry-eyed adventurism, young people are using Viagra and other virility drugs at a considerable threat to their lives
The Centre for the Study of Adolescence concurs. As long as the mass media, more so, the Internet, continues to portray the ideal man in sexual terms, then more young people will continue to experiment with such drugs.
“In the absence of adequate and correct information about sexuality, the youths are experimenting with what they gather from the Internet and the mass media,” says Mr Albert Obbuyi, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Adolescence.
The National Aids/STD Control Programme (NASCOP) warns that more young people are likely to engage in unprotected sex if the abuse of sex-enhancing drugs is not checked.
Dr Nicholas Muraguri, the NASCOP director, says as more young men fall victim to the macho image of sexuality served up by the mass media, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and Aids, will take their toll on the youth.
“The urge to show that you are a good performer is likely to lead a person to have multiple partners. And young people are likely to have unprotected sex,” says Dr Muraguri.
According to NASCOP, one in every five teenagers in the country admits to experimenting with sex by their 16th birthday. Only 25 per cent of them use protection.
“If they now start experimenting with sex-enhancing drugs, the gains we have made against the spread of STDs will be reversed,” says Dr Muraguri.
So what is the way forward? Definitely not restricting the avalanche of information about sex-enhancing drugs available to the youth today, says the Centre for the Study of Adolescence.
“On the contrary, we need to talk to them more about their sexuality, at school, at home, and in churches. Give them adequate and correct information on sexuality,” advises Mr Obbuyi.
This approach, he says, will counter the avalanche of un-censored information that is luring the youth to the sex-enhancing drugs market. “Above everything else,” adds Mr Obbuyi, “it will counter the macho image of manhood that revolves around sexual performance and size.”
But for the national sexually transmitted diseases control watchdog, NASCOP, pharmacies should simply stop selling sex-enhancing drugs over the counter.
“These are prescription drugs for people suffering from erectile dysfunction. It is illegal to sell them over the counter,” says Dr Muraguri.
But NACADA concedes that policing thousands of pharmacies around the country to ensure that they don’t sell the drugs to the youth is currently not a priority.
The authority says it is preoccupied with fighting harder drugs like heroin and cocaine.
“We have not done much basic research on the abuse of sex-enhancing drugs among the youth,” concedes a NACADA official.
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board warns that abuse of sex-enhancing drugs exposes the youth to a host of medical complications, including stroke, heart attack, and priapism — a condition in which the penis is continually erect. It is painful and seldom caused by sexual arousal.
“A drug like Sildenasil, or what is commonly called viagra, was initially meant to treat high blood pressure. Abusing it could lead to low blood pressure, causing a host of other medical complications,” warns Dr Jayesh Pandit, head of medicines information at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
But all these fly in the face of a multi-million sexual enhancement drug industry, one that is backed by a powerful mass media that continues to propagate the ideal sexual man myth.