Queensland: Opioid poppies found in kamini, an illegal grocery store product

A herbal product containing highly addicting opioids is being sold under the counter in grocery stores, prompting an urgent warning from health experts.

An illegal herbal product is responsible for some Queenslanders being hospitalized for opiate addiction with the substance being sold under the counter in Brisbane grocery stores.

Kamini, commonly known by the street name “Kamini balls”, is an illegal Indian import containing highly addicting opioids, often unknown to consumers who buy them.

According to the researchers, the balls, which are opium poppy-based feasts, are often mistaken for aphrodisiacs, a food or drug that increases sexual performance.

Jeremy Hayllar, Medical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at Metro North Mental Health, said there were 12 patients treated for opioid use disorder from the product after patients asked for help with withdrawal as prices soared after. the pandemic.

“The feedback from patients who have been treated at the pharmaceutical services is that they bought kamini because they felt it improved their energy levels and helped them work longer hours.” He said.

“There is a misconception that it is an aphrodisiac, in fact it is likely to have the opposite effect.

“It would appear that people are unaware of the dangers of Kamini addiction and have been shocked by their withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, diarrhea, runny nose, poor sleep.”

He said some patients struggled to control its use for months before seeking professional help, raising concerns the problem was more prevalent than it appears.

Kamini are packaged in small glass bottles, which contain plant products in the guise of 40 brownish balls.

During the pandemic, illegal traders sold bottles for $ 130, but due to a supply problem the cost increased to $ 180, making it less affordable for residents who could buy up to four bottles a week and are already addicted.

In extreme cases, some consumers were ingesting up to 30 pellets a day, the equivalent of taking 60 mg of OxyContin, a drug that was supposed to be used for severe pain but is known for the opioid crisis in America.

“Once that brain receptor gets its daily feed, if you want, if you try to take it away, the brain really protests loudly.” said Dr. Hayllar.

“It’s something people get stuck in and it’s very difficult to escape from”,

According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), importation is prohibited into Australia.

“These tablets pose a serious health risk and should not be taken,” the regulator said.

Queensland health experts documented their findings on kamini addiction in a study released Friday.

“I speak out to warn of the dangers of kamini and encourage people to seek treatment,” said Dr. Hallyar.

“We would like to see a crackdown on the sale of illegal under-the-counter products in Queensland.”

“We know that cheap cigarettes and vaping products are also readily available.”

Originally published as Queensland: Opioid poppies found in an illegal grocery product