Addicts in West Virginia are swapping meth for crystallized wasp spray in a trend that police believe could be responsible for three overdoses in a week.
According to WCHS, police in Boone County, West Virginia have seen a growing number of cases.
“People are making a synthetic-type methamphetamine out of wasp spray,” said Sergeant Charles Sutphin of West Virginia State Police.
According to the news report, police are working with local poison control and experts to figure out how to treat someone who has taken the substance, which can be potentially deadly.
Police said wasp spray is being used as a synthetic form of meth.
“From what we’re being told, if you use it, you know, you might use it once or twice and be fine, but the third time when your body hits that allergic reaction, it can kill you,” Sutphin said.
It is not clear from the report whether the wasp spray is used as a replacement to meth, or mixed in with meth—something known as “wasping”—or as a wasp hotshot.
Back in 2017, reports emerged of people adopting the bug spray as a fix in Mississippi, reported News Mississippi, with devastating results.
“They’re ruined,” Sheriff Cecil Cantrell of Monroe County Mississippi said, according to Scottsdale Recovery Center. “Ruined for life… a person will stand at a jail cell door, slobber like a mad dog, wanting to fight. Everything is wrong, nothing is right for one minute, then calm down and then go right back into a rage.”
The trend was reported in various states last year.
Last march three cases were reported in just one week in Summit County, Ohio.
Inspector Bill Holland told the news outlet at the time: “Some are spraying it on the meth. Some are spraying it in a manner where they can heat it up and then crystallize it, and then once it’s crystallized, they can heat it up again and shoot it into their veins,” Holland said.
The three people arrested began experiencing hallucinations inside Summit County Jail.
Holland said one woman became flushed and agitated.
“Her body started to contort. It almost looked like if you spray a wasp, how they can kind of shrivel up and their body kind of cinches up,” Holland said. “That’s kind of how she looked.”
Last year, a burglar in Tennessee who went on a violent rampage in December 2017 was thought to have been smoking “wasp spray dope” according to police.
Police found Danny Hollis naked in a tree, and had to resort to a taser to get him down, reported NewsChannel5 in Nashville.
He had allegedly walked into a family home and attempted to cut his own throat before jumping out of a second-floor window. As the terrified mother and four children took off in their car, he gave chase, got stuck on some barbed wire, and stripped off his clothes to escape before heading up the tree.