Wasp spray used as 'alternative meth' linked to three overdoses in West Virginia, cops warn against disturbing trend
State Police in West Virginia is alerting residents of Boone County against the harmful effects of the common wasp spray, which is being used by some as an alternative to meth in order to derive a "high".
There already have been three overdoses linked to the spray in the last week alone, the authorities said.
"We're seeing this here on the streets in Boone County," Sgt. Charles Sutphin of the West Virginia State Police told WCHS TV. "People are making a synthetic type methamphetamine out of wasp spray. It's a cheap fix, and you don't know what their overall result of their usage of this is going to be."
So how does a wasp spray make you high? According to ABC News, the drug practice of "wasping" involves abusing the active components in an insect killer in combination with meths to achieve a sense of hallucinations, "rush" or déjà vu that makes one go back for more.
In some cases, the spray itself is being abused without any combinations, in which case, it directly acted as a substitute for the illegal drug. In case of a combination, the liquid of the spray would be sprayed onto the methamphetamine and injected into the bloodstream. In case of a direct usage, the spray is crystallized through the application of hot metal sheets before being crushed and inhaled.
“From what we’re being told, if you use it, you know, you might use it one or twice and be fine, but the third time, when your body hits that allergic reaction, it can kill you,” Sutphin said. Some of the physical symptoms of using the "alternative meth" are erratic behavior and extreme swelling and redness of the limbs.
What's worse, there is no definite cure for the physical symptoms that arise from using the spray. The West Virginia police are still working with poison control and local medical centers to find the best way to cure the symptoms. They were also in the process of alerting as many local agencies about the ill effects of the spray while looking to launch a nationwide campaign against the same.
Meanwhile, it was reported that 30 cans of the spray were sold by different vendors in Boone County on Friday alone, which has become a reason for growing concern for the residents in the area. “In my opinion, drugs are so bad around here. It’s so available to people, and then all the time trying things new that we wouldn’t even think about,” one resident told WRGB.
Another resident said: “We have great grand babies, and to think what they’re going to grow up in, and what’s going to be available to them, and what people are going to get them to try… It’s really scary."