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Authorities warn of emerging drug trend

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - You might use it to fend off bugs, but people are using it to get a high. Meth laced with insect killer is an emerging trend - known as "Wasping". Across the border in Ohio, 3 cases were reported in just one week, according to officials.    Now first responders here want to sound the alarm.

 

"People keep coming up with new ways to get high and they are all equally dangerous," said Triscia Lathrop, a paramedic with the Plains Volunteer Ambulance Association.

 

Medics there respond to about 15 drug overdoses each week. It could be higher during a holiday weekend. While local authorities say there have not been any reported cases of "Wasping" - they've been briefed and they are keeping an eye out. Unlike the opioid crisis where first responders can administer Narcan to save someone, the challenge with synthetic drugs like meth is there is no antidote.

 

Authorities say the combined effects of the bug spray and meth causes a zombie like state. Meth by itself can lead to psychotic behavior, according to doctors.

 

"With pesticides, we usually see vomiting, diarrhea," said Dr. Katie Ahmadzadeh with Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Sometimes seizures and respiratory problems can occur. The drug combination could be deadly, according to doctors.

 

The drug epidemic in this area has always been a concern, not just for those using, but those responding. Victims can sometimes become combative and first responders say they have to worry about meth labs exploding. They urge people not to take a chance with the latest drug combination.

 

"Help is out there if you want it," said EMT Deanne Dennis.

 

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