Indian doctors have been left baffled after two men registered themselves for drug addiction to an unusual, and often deadly, narcotic of choice: snake venom.
Two men from Rajasthan have been getting cobras to bite them on their tongues as no amount of more traditionally intoxicating substances gives them a buzz anymore, according to a medical research study.
Addiction and toxin specialists at Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research are now examining the two subjects of the study to determine whether they have consumed drugs to the point of immunity, or they are genuine medical curiosities.
The case history of the duo has just been published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. The study, ‘Snake venom use as a substitute for opioids: A case report and review of literature’, was done by Dr Aseem Mehra, Dr Debashish Basu and Dr Sandeep Grover.
The Times of India reported that the two men apparently paid snake charmers to help get the animals to bite them on the tip of the tongue, producing in the pair “jerky movements of the body, blurry vision and unresponsiveness for an hour”, said Dr Grover.
“However, after waking up, they experienced heightened arousal and a sense of wellbeing, which according to them was more intense than the high of a normal dose of alcohol or opioid.