First, it was jenkem. So it was the bath salts. Now, the latest drug that parents are scaring off is a mood enhancer for dogs and cats.
Last week, the Fairfield Police Department in northern New Jersey issued a statement on Facebook warning people to avoid recreational use of Catnip Cocktail, a product intended to be used as an anxiolytic supplement for pets. The post was suggested by a raid on Nutrition Zone, a store of vitamins and supplements, at the beginning of this month, during which the FPD seized 61 bottles of Catnip Cocktail (which were not displayed outdoors) or advertised by the store), as well as 28 bottles of human growth hormone (HGH) and seven magazines of hand guns and rifles.
The shop owner, Giovanni Sicico, 48, was arrested and slapped with numerous accusations, including three counts of third-degree possession of a drug I plan. According to the ten. Det. Charles Zampino of the FPD, was transported to the Essex County jail to await his appearance in court.
According to a post on the Fairfield Police Department's Facebook page, the police learned that Catnip Cocktail was being abused when officers were called to a local shopping center in July 201
To hear the FPD, this was not the only meeting the police had with Catnip Cocktail. In November 2018, the officials accused a man of driving under the influence following reports that "he acted irrationally, was extremely confused and oblivious to his surroundings", by mail; bottles of Catnip Cocktail were found in his car. And in February 2019, the agents responded to news of an unconscious man lying outside a fitness center, which was also found with a bottle of Catnip Cocktail. The police administered Narcan and the man regained consciousness and was sent to the hospital.
According to FPD chief Anthony Manna, the bust was intended as a warning sign to Catnip Cocktail distributors to prevent the drug from becoming a complete trend: "In the execution of today's search warrant, the Department Fairfield Police sent a clear message that we will do everything possible to ensure that Catnip Cocktail does not become the next drug trend. " And the media responded in a kind way, referring to Catnip Cocktail as a substance which is "getting [people] dangerously high" and "making people crazy".
Which raises the question: exactly how many people actually abuse Catnip Cocktail to begin with?
To be clear, Catnip Cocktail doesn't seem to be totally harmless. Although the product is labeled "not for human consumption", it is sold mainly in smoking stores, not in pet stores. (A request to comment on the Catnip Cocktail website has not been returned, and it appears that the website is no longer active.) Probably because it contains 1-4 BDO or 1-4 butanediol, which is most often used in products for the commercial cleaning
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, 1-4 BDO is converted into a "drug rape given" GHB after ingestion, which means that it produces effects similar to GHB , like euphoria and a sense of relaxation. But if used improperly together with other substances, "it can cause serious consequences", such as "reduction of inhibition and sedation, vomiting, incontinence, agitation, convulsions, respiratory depression, coma and death", says Linda Richter, Ph .D, director of research and political analysis at the Center on addiction, citing a 2014 report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Just as bath salts were before the passage of the 2012 synthetic drug prevention law, 1-4 BDO is not illegal at the federal level. But he showed risks: in 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning that declared 1-4 BDO a Class I health hazard, which means it carries a mortality risk, which has prompted many states, including New Jersey, to classify it as a Schedule I controlled substance.
That said, it is not clear exactly how widespread the recreational use of Catnip Cocktail is. According to the DEA national forensic laboratory information system, while there have been reports of seizures of 1-4 BDOs intended for recreational use, it is not among the 25 most seized drugs; and it seems that most of the recent news on its misuse "mainly relates to incidents in New Jersey related to a store that sold it along with other illicit substances and products," says Richter.
Niamh Eastwood, the executive director of Release, the UK's center of expertise on drugs and drug law, agrees. "T here were only a few cases of people caught with drugs, and the quantities involved in the story are low."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Zampino confirmed that the FPD has "only three cases since July of last year"; although he heard other Catnip Cocktail news being abused in neighboring counties such as Morris County, the July 2018 incident "was the first time we had anything to do with this."
There also does not appear to be a ton of evidence that Catnip Cocktail was the only drug these three men had taken, or even that it was directly responsible for these reported side effects. "[Here you have] a handful of people who were acting strangely, presumably while they were in possession of animal sedative vials," says Benjamin Radford, author and researcher at the non-profit educational organization of the Committee for Skeptical Investigation. "But there is little or no evidence – in the form of toxicology reports, for example – that they were under the influence." (In an e-mail to Rolling Stone Zampino said that a toxicological report came only from the first arrest in July, did not confirm or deny that the individual in that case had consumed Catnip Cocktail, but there referred to the Office of Public Documents to access the report.)
It is important to note according to Radford, "many drug addicts mix substances, making it difficult or impossible to scientifically determine which drug caused what effect . " This is probably particularly true in the case of the arrested man in February who was given Narcan: B because Narcan only counteracts the effects of opioid overdose, the man is likely to have overdubbed with an opiate of some kind in addition to taking Catnip Cocktail, if it had even taken, which Zampino could not confirm. "I don't know if he was using it that night, but we know he had it on his person when the agents located him on his person at the bus stop," he said. That said, "depending on the type of drug you are taking and you can add this, it can cause dangerous interactions with the body."
On the whole, Catnip Cocktail reports sweep the nation and make people become "crazy" they seem to come from the same kind of moral panic that fueled the uproar over jenkem (whose use was later unmasked in full) and bath salts (Rudy Eugene, the so-called "cannibal" bath salts that he was accused in 2012 of chewing on the face of a homeless person, was later found to have no bath salts in his system.)
" The press coverage of the so-called "Catnip Cocktail" is alarmist, inaccurate and dangerous – and sadly typical of how the media covers alleged new drug consumption trends, "says Eastwood. "The coverage of this alleged new trend is reminiscent of the way in which many news sources have previously invented a threat of" cannibals "using" bath salts "or worsening the stigma of vulnerable people by describing them as" drug addicts "who spread a" drug ". epidemic".
This does not mean, however, that no one uses Catnip Cocktail to stand up, or that you should not be alarmed if you suddenly see bottles stored under someone's bed. "It is quite possible that some people use the drug to get high results or try to become tall, based on its reputed effects [currently being hyped in news stories]," says Radford. "In other words, even if the drug has little or no real pharmacological effect in humans, there are some people who will try it anyway, looking for a new or cheap price."
But it is much more likely that the media coverage of the "phenomenon" of Catnip Cocktail will feed the people who are looking for it – not an intrinsic request for the product itself. "I wouldn't be surprised," Zampino said when asked if people had started looking for Catnip Cocktail as a result of the FPD statement and subsequent media coverage. "But it is also the information that must come out. There are serious effects that must happen to someone."