Before your next red cup-For the Love of Scoochies!


SCOOCHIES! Before your next red cup of Scoochies, it is important to know what you are ingesting. \”Scoochies\” has become a household name in night clubs and parties both in the streets as well as highbrow areas. This drink, commonly served in red plastic cups is a specially concocted cocktail brewed, packaged and branded to meet its growing demands. You probably had some a number of times during the holiday festivities. It is sometimes referred to as skushi,or omi gutter for the science students’ as sung in a famous afrobeat song.

This drink usually contains a combination of the following ingredients:

Boiled Marijuana extract (a.k.a weed, Igbo, cannabis, Hemp), Codeine containing cough syrups, Tramadol, Alcohol, sometimes herbal tinctures, some juice/drink like zobo or cranberry juice, as well as the scoochies brewer’s secret ingredient which may just be another substance you know nothing about. The concoction is then flavored to make the taste agreeable.

While this may just look like a list of commonly available drugs, you should know that these drugs combined together in the way that scoochies is made is a potential havoc to your system. I’ll try to explain as simply as I can.

First, Tramadol and codeine belong to a class of drugs called “opioid analgesics” (yes from the same family as the notorious opium). In everyday English, this means the drugs act directly on the brain and central nervous system to so they easily interfere with important body functions including cognition, perception, mood etc. This is why in more organised countries, there are strict regulations and measures in place to check access to opioid analgesics and marijuana and even when they are prescribed, the patients are closely monitored because of their side effects and their potential for addiction.

Second, Tramadol also is a drug that has been formulated to be gradually released in the gut. But when it is crushed, dissolved or boil it as it is used in preparing scoochies, it can expose the user to fatal doses of the drug.

Needless to say, these opiates come with some side effects. A common one is respiratory depression which is basically that your lungs start shutting down, consequently reducing oxygen supply to the brain leading to coma and on and on. Also, a user may begin to experience confusion, fatigue, reduced coordination and concentration, stiff muscles etc.

And if you’re thinking that side effects don’t usually happen, please know that I have personally witnessed a patient with respiratory collapse from codeine abuse, he had to be wheeled into the emergency ward, intubated and connected to oxygen tanks etc. Luckily for him, he survived his ordeal, others may not be so lucky.

Third, there is a concept in pharmacy whereby when a drug A is taken, it releases some chemicals that can increase the level and effect of drugs B, C and D in the body. So when they are used together, it increases the good and dangerous effects of the different drugs.

The components of scoochies act exactly in that way. Marijuana (weed, igbo) increases the levels of the codeine and tramadol (which has already been increased by crushing, dissolving or boiling) which can result in an escalation of the aforementioned side effects like hallucinations, confusion, fatigue, reduced coordination and concentration etc. A combination of alcohol and marijuana also further increases sedation. The truth is that the potential danger of this mixture can be unpredictable and even vary from person to person.

Lastly, there is the likelihood of opiate dependency, what is commonly referred to as addiction. At this point, one cannot function well again without a fix because the body has gotten used to ingesting the mixture and one will begin to frequently crave for the drink. This is accompanied with difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, frequent nervousness/restlessness and even depression.

The summary of all this talk so far is that your health and wellness is far more important than the high any red cup will give you. Many debilitating diseases in old age could be easily avoided with healthier lifestyle choices. So choose what’s right for your body when next you’re out partying.

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