We’re not even a month into 2019, and I am already writing an article in regards to teens drinking used tampon juice to get high. Happy New Year!
Unfortunately, this claim does have some truth to it, but the reality of the situation is much darker than simply trying to get a quick high. In November of 2018, the claim first began going viral through multiple media outlets that referred to it as the new trend. Trend being the word used to ensure views to said articles.
There is a small number of teens currently known for using feminine products as a means of getting high. They use women sanitary pads, not tampons and the preferred ingredients are not used beforehand. Those using female products to get high are not doing it because of some bullshit Internet trend. The average users are street kids trying to escape living in extreme poverty in areas of Indonesia.
It appears only one user has come forward on the record. In 2016, Pos Belitung came across 14-year-old Kujay, who learned that you could get intoxicated off of sanitary pads from a friend in Tanjungpandan, Belitung. Kujay was said to live in the Kelapa Kampit Subdistrict when he explained how to make the tea.
The first step is of course buying goods. The average type of sanitary napkin used is wing. Then, after opening it from the wrapper, the sanitary napkin is put into a pan of water and boiled for about an hour.
After it feels sufficient, the cooking water is cooled. Bandages are squeezed in the same container (pan), then ready to drink.
“It’s bitter, chelate,” Kujay said.
Teens using the tea claim they are trying to find a way to stay happy while facing the reality of their every day lives. Experts believe the teens are targeting an adsorbent gel inside the pads, then concentrating it by boiling it down. Most pads have low concentrations of chemicals such as chloroethane that can have neurological effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says exposure to high levels of chloroethane can cause lack of muscle coordination and unconsciousness.
Some of the chemicals being pulled out through this boiling process could are a bit more dangerous. A 2015 report claimed the majority of sanitary pads in Indonesia contained chlorine, which is supposed to be illegal in Indonesia. Indonesian Consumers Foundation tested nine companies products which all tested positive for chlorine. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends chlorine not be used in sanitary pads as it can result in negative health effects.
VICE led the way in November with the claim of drinking used feminine product juice with an article titled “Indonesian Teens are Getting ‘Drunk’ Off Boiled Bloody Menstrual Pads.” Head of Brantas National Narcotics Agency (BNN) of Central Java Province AKBP Suprinarto said users of the substance were typically between the ages of 13 and 16 and living in the suburban areas of Purwodadi, Kudus, Pati, Rembang, and in the eastern city of Semarang.
Dwi Purnomo, Lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology at the Catholic University of Soegijapranata (Unika) said the practice of drinking tea made from sanitary pads was an older practice in the areas of Karawang, Belitung and Jogjakarta.
Well, when under pressure, want to be happy and because of limited capital, these young people like to experiment. Starting from the legal ones first from antimo, then komix , finally nyair even drinking boiled Softex.
So how did the claim start that teens were drinking the juice from used feminine products? Because it was part of the unusual practice. Indra Dwi Purnomo, MPsi, Lecturer in the Faculty of Psychology, Unika Soegijapranata claimed that previously users would use used feminine products.
It appears some may still use used feminine products, but a used pad is not the desired product for their chemical concoction. The only reason why a used sanitary pad would be used in the tea is the user did not have access to unused pads, most likely because of financial reasons.