Addiction Campuses Drug Alert: “Wet”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (June 30, 2016) – Embalming fluid is being abused in neighborhoods across America. Here’s what we know:
Addiction Campuses has had recent admissions for a drug called “wet”. The main ingredient? Embalming fluid. Popular in the 1960s, the drug has evolved in the market, and it’s not your grandparents’ drug anymore. Embalming fluid, the chemical used to preserve dead bodies (sometimes only until the funeral, other times indefinitely), is a mixture of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde and methanol. Together, these make a great solvent for PCP (Phencyclidine).
Phencyclidine, also known as angel dust and Sernyl, is a dissociative drug. It was brought to market in the 1950s as an anesthetic pharmaceutical drug, but was taken off the market in 1965 due to the high prevalence of dissociative hallucinogenic side effects.
In the process, PCP is diluted down into the fluid. The user then dips their cigarette, tobacco or marijuana into the mix, lets it dry, then smokes it. Low doses (0.01-0.02mg) can produce a numbness and intoxication and a loss of balance. Moderate doses (5-10mg) will produce anesthesia. Higher doses could lead to convulsions and cause death. In any dose, depending on the person, it can cause paranoia, depersonalization, hallucinations, euphoria, suicidal impulses and aggressive behavior.
Several dangerous incidents have been documented on PCP by law enforcement, from cannibalism to murder under the influence of the highly potent drug. It induces nucleus accumbens in neurons and has scientifically been shown to produce addiction in users. PCP’s rewarding and reinforcing effects can be extremely powerful on the brain’s receptors.
Add into the mix embalming fluid, a chemical compound that’s a highly flammable poison used to preserve the dead by making a body an unsuitable host for living bacteria or organisms, slowing down the decomposition process, is probably not something you want in a living body.
While police don’t track the recreational use of embalming fluid, as it is a completely legal substance, emergency rooms in New York are on pace to handle twice the number of embalming fluid cases as a few years ago, according to Syracuse.com. It is available online and sold on the street. 0.00025 grams of pure PCP is enough to get high. A marijuana cigarette laced with the mix has been sold on the street for about $20.
Insurance companies do not cover treatment for addiction to embalming fluid. It is, however, usually is coupled with some other type of drug or medication, according to the Addiction Campuses call center.