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Embalming fluid drug use on the rise

  1. chillinwill
    Marijuana and cigarettes dipped in embalming fluid or "water", as it is known on the street, have been around for years but use of the chemical, especially by teens in Syracuse, is on the rise.

    Dr. Elizabeth Berry works for Crouse Hospital's Chemical Treatment Services. Dr. Berry says inhaling embalming fluid, especially when laced with other chemicals such as PCP, can cause violent unpredictable behavior and lead to serious side effects.

    Dr. Berry says most teens are not aware how dangerous embalming fluid is. One reason perhaps are videos on YouTube which seem to glorify the smoking of embalming fluid laced cigarettes.

    Right now, police don't track the use of embalming fluid because it is not illegal although some say it should be. In the meantime, police and health care workers are urging parents to educate their children about the dangers of using embalming fluid to get high...a chemical that should only be used in bodies long after they're dead.

    By Brandon Roth
    March 10, 2010
    CNY Central


  1. malsat
    Seriously? I thought "embalming fluid" was just slang for PCP? Are people actually getting high off that gunk, or is this more likely a bit of media confusion?
  2. g666d
    This story has already been posted, different source. Maybe merge threads?
  3. g666d
    Oh, and i don't think anyone is getting high, just dumbfuck reporter doesn't do his research and spreads mis-information. As swim understands, the fluid is used as a solvent carrier for PCP to lace a cigarette, presumably the solvent is evaporated before ignition. I think it would be healthier to sniff glue than formaldehyde. There are numerous mistakes in the longer article, it appears to me sensationalist crap.

    @malsat - you're probably right, it is probably just slang, i'm pretty sure other solvents would do the job just as effectively. I had a look the last time this subject was posted and the solvent explanation seemed to have some credence to it, (person buying copious amounts) but that was from dodgy author (douglass dowty) so really shouldn't be taken into account at all.

    Both articles quote Dr Berry.
  4. Motorhead
    The other story you are referring to is much older, and though on the same topic not entirely related. I think leaving them separate will be fine.
  5. NeuroChi
    + credibility for cell phone camera pic. Nice work Mr. Roth.
  6. EscapeDummy
    "When laced with other drugs such as PCP"

    Wow, thats fucked up. Who knew they were lacing embalming fluid with PCP?
  7. IOwnUtopia
    What makes this more terrible is that these news reports basically make kids aware of the idea that embalming fluid can get them high. Then they seek it out, whereas if this was never broadcast on TV, no one would get the idea to do that. It really just kind of acts as a confirmation that it would work.

    In reality, smoking formaldehyde would likely cause irreversible damage to a person's lungs. As someone else mentioned, this is probably a misunderstanding that arose from slang or possibly a report of formaldehyde being used as a solvent for PCP to lace cigarettes or other materials. These news reports can really be dangerous, especially when they're highly sensationalistic, ie "The new drug everyone is trying!". It tends to only encourage young people to seek these things out.
  8. malsat
    Someone should contact that paper and get them to print a correction so that doesn't happen. Who wants to?
  9. g666d
    At least 2 people wrote to the last reporter, i used a lot of explicit words and the other person wrote very polite and reasonably, nothing happened...
  10. chrisjames13
    I remember seeing special on TV, maybe it was Tom Brokaw or 60 minutes, idk. It was about people using this stuff though quit a while ago, ~10+ yrs ago. They referred to it as Sherm or Sherming then - which is suppose to refer to marijuana cigarettes laced with embalming fluid. Its suppose to get u seriously messed up for some hours. They showed people on it and they were twitching, seriously disoriented and looking crazy; completely out of it. Also, reading a few articles on it stating that embalming fluid is highly carcinogenic.
  11. Coconut
    Sounds more likely that it was Cannabis laced with PCP, not formaldehyde.
  12. snapper
    SWIM does not have the references handy and is too lazy to source right now but formaldehyde is indeed smoked by people to get high. This probably started because of the slang for PCP which was embalming fluid. Sherm used to also be slang for PCP laced joints BTW, but also seems to have bled over into formaldehyde cigarettes. The formaldehyde is of course very toxic to tissues. It preserves corpses by crosslinking proteins, essentially turning them into plastic. Imagine what this can do to living lungs. It is also metabolized to methanol, another serious toxin. This is not an urban myth, though it probably was born of one.
    Here are a few references after all - they are easier to find now than the last time SWIM checked :
    there are more if you search.
  13. Terrapinzflyer
    While I don't have time to try and dig them up at the moment, I have seen numerous stories of smoking embalming fluid laced joints or cigarettes in biographies, autobiographies and the like of US soldiers during the Vietnam war. That is the earliest cultural reference on this I ever remember reading.
  14. JaWill88
    swim knows a lot of unedicated kids who think it IS embalming fluid that gets them high, and PCP is slang for formaldehyde!
  15. scimor
    I know for fact that when I was in H.S. in 1983-1987 there was a fad. Usually only when the LSD was unavailable (which was rare according to Somebody Who I Knpw), some hardcore people (just about every kid in my class as well as classes of 86,85,84,83,82, and 88, 89, 90, and 91) would take to smoking "wiki sticks" (pronounced same as wikipedia). Wiki Sticks were understood to be low-grade marijuana (schwag) joints dipped in formaldehyde.
    Kids I know had reliable (as in always there and always had it, not trustworthy or conscientious) sources for "wiki sticks". Boys and girls alike (remember, these kids were as young as 14-15 up to age 19 or so) from my town during the 80's up to 91 had plenty of experience smoking wiki sticks. I personally never tried it (thankfully) and was never unfortunate enough to be around people who had, although I was offered it plenty of times. A wiki stick (one joint) cost about as much as a six-pack (is that okay to say that? We're making vague reference to something long ago...)
    Inevitably, some poor young girl or boy ended up making a complete fool of themselves. This is in a relatively small town, about 800 total students in H.S., grades 9-12, so one night of "fun" and you could become legendary, even to this day.
    Some stuff I heard of; one dude walking around the streets naked yelling at cars passing by, this one girl sleeping with 8 guys at a party (incidentally, she married a guy I've known since grade 3 and now has two gorgeous little girls and lives a generally normal life), one after another with a line outside the bedroom door, and of course tales of people being generally mashed to the point of puking wherever you are, passing out in mud puddles, inability to walk, talk, or construct intelligible sentences, girls breaking down and sobbing, boys fighting their best friends, etc., etc.Actual harmful violence, though, has not been the norm from what I've heard (around here anyway).
    Bottom line; yes, people do smoke formaldehyde and do get a buzz (to put it lightly). I don't know anyone who adopted it as their DOC, and actually lots do it only once or twice, few do it more that 8 or 10 times.
    Oh, I might add that the experience pretty much always ends with the user passing out and sleeping at least 20 or 24 hours. When awakening, user experiences terrible hangover that includes "cheesebrain", a local slang term for that feeling where you can't even add two plus two, and all you wanna do is veg out with TV, smoke regular spliffs, and lay around till its time to go back to bed. User claims to be fully baseline at about 48 hours give or take, depending on the usual (amount, general health, other substances ingested, etc
    In conclusion, I gotta believe there's a better way to fry one's brain that feels better and causes less collateral damage.
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