More and more people are abusing a street drug called “wet” or “fry.” This is one of the many drug trends that are impacting society and leading to heartbreaking cases of addiction and reports like the murder of a 6-year-old and wounding of his 12-year-old sister in Camden, N.J. The man that was charged with the murder was reportedly high on wet drug.1 Because of the severity of this substance’s effects on behavior and judgment, our Milford rehab is sharing more about what “wet drug” is.
What Is the Drug Wet?
The drug wet refers to marijuana cigarettes that are dipped into or laced with substances like formaldehyde (embalming fluid), phencyclidine (PCP), or both. Other street names for the street drug wet include water, fry, dip, and superweed. Wet is one of the mixture’s street names and can be used to refer to either marijuana cigarettes dipped in liquid PCP to PCP alone, which is also used to coat ordinary cigarettes.
Phencyclidine or phenylcyclohexyl piperidine (PCP or angel dust) is a dissociative hallucinogenic synthetic drug that was originally patented as a general anesthetic in 1953. However, due to its adverse and mind-altering effects on people – such as delusions, anxiety, and violent behavior - it was taken off from the market in 1965. Today, PCP is known as an illegal and popular street drug that’s ebbed and flowed in popularity.
PCP works by activating a chemical called glutamate, dopamine, opioid, and nicotinic receptors in the brain, resulting in side effects like slurred speech, euphoria, hallucinations, distorted images, severe mood swings, anxiety, and more. The other substance used to make wet drugs is formaldehyde, an embalming fluid used at funeral homes to preserve bodies.
It’s become popular for recreational use and can be from chemical companies online or in-person. It produces a similar high as PCP, making it popular among PCP users. Drugs dipped in these substances are usually marijuana joints or tobacco cigarettes.
Considering that six million people in the U.S. have tried PCP at least once, remaining vigilant about wet drug use is important. Wet drugs are highly dangerous and can have long-term health effects, including addiction. Even occasional use can lead to permanent damage. If you notice that a loved one is using wet drugs, seek inpatient drug treatment immediately.
What Does the Drug Wet Do to You?
The severity and type of wet drug side effects depend on how much of the drug was taken, whether marijuana or cigarettes were used, and whether the joints or cigarettes were dipped into PCP or formaldehyde. Since PCP is illegally manufactured, its potency and exact ingredients are difficult to determine.
Typically, any additional chemicals that are mixed with PCP have less to do with the high and more to do with its addictive nature and risks. People may wet drugs like marijuana joints and cigarettes with PCP to experience side effects like euphoria, adrenaline, delusions, hallucinations, and detachment from reality.
The delusions caused by PCP can make the user feel like “superman.” PCP is also known to increase the user’s strength, allowing them to break a set of handcuffs. As a result, it’s no surprise that PCP and wet drug use are linked to distressing incidents like the murder of a 6-year-old.1
Additionally, while PCP and formaldehyde are usually used to wet marijuana and cigarettes, PCP’s effects are more prominent. In addition to the user’s heightened responses to this combination, wetting joints and cigarettes with PCP causes them to burn more slowly, prolonging the high.
With this in mind, common side effects of smoking wet drugs include:
- Adrenaline rush
- Difficulty concentrating
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Profuse sweating
- Flushed skin
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Diminished ability to feel pain
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Uncontrolled eye movement
- Lack of body control
- Rigid muscles
- Delusions and paranoia
- Accidental self-injury or suicide (due to delusions)
- Memory loss or “blackouts”
- Impaired coordination and judgment
- Respiratory failure
There are also many cases of people committing horrific crimes under the influence of wet drugs, such as the incident mentioned earlier. Many PCP users are unable to recall their violent behavior and have gaps in their memory or suffer blackouts when committing the crimes.
The effects of wet drugs are even worse when embalming fluid is used. It’s usually a less popular option than PCP, but it is legal and more easily available. Embalming fluid is even more toxic than PCP, and using drugs that are wet in embalming fluids like formaldehyde can lead to side effects like:
- Immediate coma
- Lung damage
- Respiratory failure
- Difficulty breathing
- Destruction of body tissue
- Loss of consciousness
- Brain damage
The immediate high caused by smoking a wet blunt or a wet cigarette doesn’t outweigh the long-term risks. Fortunately, with the help of medically monitored detox and residential care, people with wet drug addictions can quit, recover, and get sober.
Recovering from wet drug abuse is best done under the care and supervision of a facility like our Milford treatment center. Our Delaware addiction treatment programs include care for all kinds of substances and addictions, and no matter how severe your drug use is, we’re here for you.
- The Wallstreet Journal - Boy Is Killed, Sister Injured
The History of PCP
The Effects of PCP