Mandrax is one of the most widely abused drugs in South Africa, and is still around even though 'new' drugs such as Tik and Sugars are in the news.
Mandrax comes in tablet form, and was originally a legal drug prescribed as a sleeping pill, until it became clear that it had serious side effects, including dependency. It is now illegal, but continues to be manufactured around the world and distributed in pill form. The tablets come in a range of colours, including pink, purple, black, brown and green, and are marked with a manufacturer's symbol.
In South Africa, Mandrax is most often crushed, then mixed with dagga and smoked in a 'bottleneck' or 'white pipe'. The use of broken-off glass bottles to form a pipe causes a distinctive scar on the palms of frequent Mandrax users.
Mandrax produces a similar, though stronger, effect to dagga, and is thus often used by addicts who can no longer get the same 'rush' they used to get from dagga.
Mandrax has a range of side-effects, including strong physical dependency and bad withdrawal symptoms. It causes drastic weight loss, loss of appetite, a swollen abdomen, bloodshot eyes and rotten teeth.
Common slang names for Mandrax: buttons, white pipe, MX, gholfsticks, doodies, lizards, press-outs, flowers.