Bug spray abuse on the rise; incidents of overdose being reported in West Virginia

Bug spray abuse on the rise; incidents of overdose being reported in West Virginia

A new kind of menace has gripped Boone County, West Virginia. According to local news channel WCHS, quite a few people in the country have overdosed on a wasp repellent, used as a substitute for methamphetamine. Local police authorities have reported an increase in the use of the spray in order to attain a meth-like high, but for a much cheaper price.

Identified as one of the recent drug trends in the country, authorities have named it “wasping.” According to a 2018 report, wasping is a practice that involves the abuse of ingredients used in insect killers to get a kick. The substance could be injected or inhaled by crystallizing the spray on hot metal sheets.

Effects of wasping is unknown

Speaking to the local media, Sergeant Charles Sutphin of the West Virginia State Police said that people in the area were making a new type of synthetic meth out of the wasp spray. Further, the authorities reported as many as 30 cans of bug sprays were sold on a single day and suspected that at least 3 overdoses were related.

In spite of its large-scale use, the local authorities said that the overall effects of the spray were unknown till now, however, excessive use was seen to cause allergic reactions and even death.

The Boone County Police are currently working in close coordination with poison control centers and medical centers to conclude the best possible treatment for wasping and spread the information about the latest growing concern.

How bug sprays affect humans

Insect repellants contain an ingredient called pyrethroids which stuns and kills insects by penetrating their nervous system. When used by humans, the same chemical blocks or interferes with nerve signals and causes unusual sensations, sometimes even leading to paralysis and seizures.

Wasping can also lead to hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in breathing difficulties, headaches, nausea, increased heart rate, burning sensation, swelling, and motor function problems as well as respiratory problems. It is especially harmful for people suffering with asthma.

Bug sprays could be used independently as well by lacing it with other street drugs such as meth, marijuana, or even with tobacco. Though people may believe that wasping is harmless as they have tried it before without any side effects, it is important to remember that one may never know if the next hit would not be an overdose or may cause a deadly allergic reaction.

The problem with wasping is the lack of knowledge,  and the symptoms of abuse or overdose. Also, because it is legal, it is easily available. The most vulnerable group are adolescents, whom are constantly looking for cheaper fixes. It is therefore, important to educate them about the harmful effects of drugs and discourage them from using.

Seeking treatment for addiction

According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 19.7 million Americans suffered from a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year. Any substance abuse treatment begins with a medically supervised detox treatment to flush out the toxins from the body. This prepares the body and the mind for further treatment.

If you or your loved one is struggling to overcome an addiction to any kind of substance, get in touch with the Rapid Detox Helpline. The only way to combat an opioid addiction is to seek timely professional help from a credible addiction treatment center offering rapid detox for opiates. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5591 to speak with one of our representatives or chat online for expert advice on substance abuse treatment programs.