If you’ve scrolled through the news online or been on social media recently, odds are that you’ve seen a headline screaming something like the latest deadly new drug trend. Usually these sound so crazy that you think they can’t possibly be true, and in most cases, they aren’t. The most recent of these stories (although there was a previous outbreak of hysteria on the subject back in March) has to do with “wasping.” Wasping apparently involves using a combination of wasp killer and meth to get high, creating a sense of euphoria, feelings of déjà vu, and a hallucinatory sense of smell.
How (and why) would one even go about using wasp spray recreationally? According to the news reports, users can either spray the liquid onto the methamphetamine before ingesting it, or they crystallize the liquid using hot metal sheets, which then allows the finished product to be inhaled or injected. The active ingredient in these wasp sprays is called pyrethroids, a group of manmade compounds that are similar to the natural pesticide pyrethrum, which is produced by chrysanthemum flowers. When used on insects, pyrethroids stun and then kill them. The brand names of these pesticides that we have here in the United States include Scourge and Anvil. Pyrethroids are also found in other insect-controlling products, like flea sprays and lice shampoo. Although they are considered safe to humans when used correctly, even a little accidental exposure to the spray can lead to respiratory problems. Worst case scenario, they can cause seizures and paralysis.
Of course, that’s not even taking into account the dangers of meth on its own, let alone mixing it with other substances. People do combine drugs with all manner of strange substances, either in hopes it will enhance their high or to cut down on the cost. There’s no real word on what this mixture might do to you, but considering that taking meth and inhaling pesticides could both potentially kill you on their own, common sense says it’s not a great idea.
Like most of these stories, wasping isn’t exactly an epidemic taking over the country. However, there have been a few cases reported in Ohio. Three people near Akron, in Summit County, were hospitalized due to the mixture in August, according to local news. Still, a good deal of searching doesn’t reveal more incidents beyond these three, no matter that all the headlines call it a trend or say it’s sweeping the nation.
It’s always concerning when small incidents like this get blown out of proportion. Putting aside complaints about shoddy journalism, broadcasting to the world that something is a hot new trend for getting high might just encourage people to try it, which might turn it into a problem where there wasn’t one.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.