The lengths that drug users are going to get high are becoming more and more alarming. And although PCP has been around since the 1950s, the dangerous drug is making a comeback -- but in a different form -- and some of the ingredients include embalming fluid.
“We were called out to a disturbance and he had stripped all of his clothes off and punched a few windows and he was naked and bloody,” recalled Bryan Police Sergeant Steven Spillars of the night the narcotics team arrested a man high on PCP.
“It’s very dangerous when you’re dealing with someone who is that aggressive,” he added.
It's been around since the 50s and over the years has become known as the "superman drug."
“PCP was developed as an anesthetic, but its use for humans was discontinued because it caused patients to become agitated, delusional, and irrational,” Spillars said. “The chemical causes the nerve endings to desensitize, so they don't feel pain. Often times you’ll hear stories of users being tazed or shot multiple times, yet they keep on running and fighting back. It’s not that they aren’t getting injured, it’s just that their brain isn’t registering there is pain.”
Today, many users who have become bored with the age-old drug, looking for an affordable, easy-to-obtain and mind numbing high, are turning to a new-age form of PCP called "wet."
“For a vial or dose of PCP, it's $10 so it's fairly cheap,” Spillars explained.
Law enforcement officials worry it is the beginning of a surge in PCP use, spawned by a convenient new way of consuming the powerful drug: by soaking a cigarette in liquid PCP so that it can be smoked on the fly. Given this extremely deceptive method of ingesting the drug -- it can be smoked absolutely anywhere at any time.
“One thing with PCP is it has a very strong chemical odor, similar to that of ammonia or Clorox,” said Spillars. “Once it's [the cigarette] dipped, it takes on a yellowish to maybe a brown color.”
Symptoms’ mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, and a sensation of distance from one's environment.
Embalming fluid is used in morgues and funeral homes; however, it is being purchased directly from chemical companies. Most drug users do not know that PCP can potentially contain embalming fluid, so they have no idea what they are consuming. Due to the schizophrenic high, the associated costs of the drug abuse is piling up.
“We've been dealing with it for a while and we've started to see a lot more of it,” he said.
Just a few days ago, Brian Andre Hunter, whose alias is "Smoke” was arrested after police found a PCP laced cigarette inside his vehicle. That arrest makes number 22 since 1999. Two days later, William Shawn Oliver was arrested for cocaine and PCP. At the time of what would become his 29th arrest since 1995, police say Oliver was so erratic and hostile he had to be sedated by medics in an effort to transport him to the hospital for evaluation. Later that same night, in a separate incident, Darren Arand White was arrested after police located a .22 caliber revolver hidden in his pants and a clear plastic scope bottle filled with PCP and loose tobacco leaves -- which makes his 25th arrest since '96.
"One of the dangers of PCP is the fact that it is absorbed through the skin very easily so if you spill it then it automatically is absorbed into the blood stream," said Spillars.
We spoke to the Calvert Police Chief who says "Wet" is also on the rise in Robertson County.