A 17 year old Kyrenia youth, named only as ‘MK’, was rushed to hospital after ingesting bonsai.
The new recreational drug has seen an increase in popularity in North Cyprus, and is known to be highly dangerous. Bonsai, which contains the psychoactive compound phenazepam, originates from Russia where it has been used to treat certain neurological disorders. MK was swiftly taken to Aycicek Hospital in Kyrenia where his life was saved due to intensive treatment by doctors.
Having confessed to taking the drug, MK was then handed over to the drug squad and named a 22 year old, Huseyin Bayraktar, as his supplier. Both suspects appeared at Kyrenia Criminal Court yesterday and were ordered to be held for two days while police investigations continue. Mr Bayraktar was found to have one gram of the drug on him at the time of his arrest in Kyrenia, however he claims that he found the drug on the street.
If taken with other substances such as alcohol, bonsai (also known as bonzai or bansai) can cause anxiety, seizures and even death.