Firefighters in Indianapolis have reportedly been inundated with calls about people being high on drugs laced with bug spray.
The drugs, called KD, Katie or Zombie supposedly put its users into a catatonic state. WSET reports that officials say that heavy-duty bug spray is being scattered on paper that is rolled up like a cigarette and smoked with other drugs, including marijuana, spice, and tobacco.
In addition to vomiting, Indy Star reports that users on KD will writhe on the ground, have difficulty breathing, sweat, and convulse. Users have been described as zombie-like, as the drug apparently causes them to move in slow motion and renders them unable to speak.
WSET also reports that this dangerous trend has spread to Mississippi and Tennessee. The drug is reportedly gaining popularity due to its accessibility and the fact that its undetectable by a drug test. Indianapolis firefighter Scott Lebherz told the Star that the low price point—about $20 a bag—adds to its appeal.
“You look at what it does to a bug…and then you got to think what it’s doing to your brain, and your body and everything else,” Lebherz told the newspaper.
According to WFTS, heavy-duty bug sprays like RAID have high concentrations of Pyrethroids. Indianapolis Fire Department Captain Chris Major told the news station that it doesn’t take much for someone to have an adverse reaction.
He said, “We started describing it like zombie-like, where they might be eating the grass that they’re lying in or they are tearing at their clothes.”
Daniel Rusyniak, medical director of the Indiana Poison Center, echoed Major’s comments, telling the Star that Pyrethroids are safe in small concentrations but cause respiratory distress and neuroexcitation in high exposures.
Speaking with Forbes, SC Johnson—the company that manufactures RAID and other household pesticides—claimed that media’s reports regarding their bug spray are “completely inaccurate.” Specifically, they dispute that marijuana laced with their bug spray causes zombie-like effects.
“According to our scientific experts, exposure to the active ingredients in these products would not cause the reported effects,” said Kelly M. Semrau, SC Johnson’s Senior Vice President Global Corporate Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability.
“Global authorities, including the WHO and the EPA for many decades have studied these active ingredients and they have not reported ill effects like this. Additionally, even if these active ingredients were intentionally overused, these types of symptoms would not be associated with them, nor would the state last for 45 minutes.”
[Featured Image: WRTV video screengrab]