09:32 GMT10 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's smallest state of Goa is popular for its beaches, casinos, churches and forts, and tourists from around the world flock to the travel destination to enjoy the local electronic music dance scene. On average, one drug seizure case has been registered every other day since 2017.

    On Friday, Goa Police arrested an alleged former Turkish Army Commando in possession of 710 grams of Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as Ecstasy.

    Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that releases three of the brain's key neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in consumers and provides users with an extreme sense of euphoria. Its impact lasts from three-to-six hours, depending on the amount consumed. While on ecstasy ("rolling"), users can become overheated and consume too much water in an attempt to cool down, and pills often contain variable doses of the active ingredient or adulterants. While the drug rarely results in more than 50 deaths per year in the UK, where it is comparatively popular (compared to thousands of deaths from heroin and synthetic opiates), long-term use can damage the ability of the brain's neurons to produce the neurotransmitters released by the drug, leading to problems with depression and impairing the user's memory and ability to focus.

    According to Goa Police, the unnamed former Turkish officer sold drugs to foreign tourists in order to maintain his extravagant party lifestyle in the state.

    Goa is often portrayed in India as a local  “desi” rendition of America’s gambling capital Las Vegas, and has an international reputation that is comparable to the Spanish island Ibiza. Tourists from all over the world visit the former Portuguese colony for beach vacations. The state is often blamed, particularly by opposition politicians, for not applying a stricter approach to dealing with the narcotics use that is often associated with the party culture of Goa.

    Earlier in January, a 30-year old Nigerian was arrested in Goa for possession of narcotics including cocaine and MDMA worth $69,980 approx. (INR 5 million).

    In December 2019, three Indian tourists attending the annual Sunburn Music Festival in Goa mysteriously collapsed at the venue and died while undergoing treatment in the hospital.

    Several politicians from the Indian National Congress party have firmly blamed the deaths on drug overdoses. Local Congress party chief Girish Chodankar said the state is now a “drowning and drugging” destination.

    Goa Police have put over 125 drug peddlers under surveillance recently in an attempt to subdue trafficking.

    Related:

    Drug Abuse Surging in India, 57 Million are Alcohol Dependent - Survey
    'Sunburn' Festival Mysteriously 'Engulfs' Three Youngsters in India's ‘Las Vegas’
    Drug Menace-Hit Goa Gets Tough on Rogue Tourists
    Tags:
    ecstasy, cocaine, drugs, India, Goa
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