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What is Wasping? A dangerous new drug trend

(KVLY)
Published: Aug. 30, 2018 at 10:31 PM CDT
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"They're almost like chemists themselves – they're trying to mix and match to try to find the next high," says Don Martin, the Communications Manager with F-M Ambulance.

There's a new way to get high, but it will cost you.

"Your balance is off, you could be unconscious, you could be disoriented, to tremors to seizures to basically everything – nausea, vomiting," Martin says. "They don't know the long term effects. But if you actually look at the science of it – it's something made to kill something. So long use of it, there's got to be some long term effects."

But those consequences don't matter to everyone.

"We don't think about tomorrow when we are using drugs and alcohol because we don't want to think. We want to numb out the pain," says Jake Metcalf, an Addiction Management Coach and Peer Support Specialist with Face It Together Fargo-Moorhead.

The potentially deadly drug trend called 'wasping' is making its way through the country. That's when users mix wasp killer with other drugs to get a more intense high.

"Why would you want to ingest something that's going to kill you? It's made to kill. Why would you purposely ingest something like that?" asks Martin. But addiction counselors say users have their reasons.

"It has to do with trying to combat tolerance," Metcalf says. "When the drink starts to wear off, what do we normally turn to? Either drinking more or using more or mixing more than one to get a different or more desirable effect."

And that's not the only reason why combining wasp killer with other drugs is spreading. For one reason, it's cheap. You can get a more intense high for less than $6 dollars. Wasp killer can also be found almost anywhere, anyone can buy it, and it won't get you in trouble with the law.

"Typically, most of the things they're lacing it with are everyday things off the shelf. So that's not illegal to possess,” Martin says.

Now, first responders are hoping this fad fades before it's too late.

First responders say when they find patients, who are overdosing on illegal drugs cut with unknown chemicals, they don't have a lot of treatment options. The best thing first responders can do is help the patient breathe and hope the patient's body breaks down the drugs and chemicals.

"There is no antidote. There is no treatment really for the insecticides," says Martin.