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DEA badge Drug Enforcement Administration
Newark Division

Michael Pasterchick, Jr.
Special Agent in Charge

The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey

Marijuana and Embalming Fluid

An emerging drug trend being encountered throughout the state is the mixture of tobacco or marijuana cigarettes and “blunts” that have been soaked in embalming fluid, then dried. The main users appear to be teenagers and adolescents in their 20s. Each cigarette cost about $20 apiece and is known on the street as “wet,” “fry” and “illy.”

Embalming fluid is a compound of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol and other solvents. The percentage of formaldehyde found in embalming fluid ranges anywhere from 5 to 29 percent. The percentage of ethyl alcohol, the psychoactive ingredient found in alcoholic beverage, varies anywhere from 9 to 56 percent. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, it is common for marijuana to be laced with PCP and/or embalming fluid, both of which produce a hallucinogenic effect. Cigarettes soaked with embalming fluid trend to burn slower, thereby increasing the chance for a prolonged high.

photo - embalming fluidEmbalming fluid is usually found in morgues and funeral homes, however, the fluid also can be purchased directly from chemical companies in person or from the Internet. Persons coming in contact with embalming fluid should exercise extreme caution, since exposure can cause serious health issues. Containers should not be opened and its contents should not be inhaled or applied to the skin.

Effects from exposure to embalming fluid include: bronchitis, body tissue destruction, brain damage, lung damage, impaired coordination, and inflammation and sores in the throat, nose, and esophagus. IT IS EXTREMELY CARCINOGENIC.

Short-term effects: Anger and frustration, depression, hallucinations and delusions, headache, impaired vision and coordination, increase in women’s sexual appetites, loss of consciousness, memory loss, paranoia, physical violence, sleepiness, and vomiting.

Long-term effects: Brain damage, bronchitis, coma, convulsions. Coughing, destruction of muscle tissue, fever, heart attack, high blood pressure, inflammation of the throat, nose and esophagus, kidney damage, lung damage, maturation process cessation, pneumonia, and spinal cord destruction.

Street terms: Amp, Clickem, Crazy Eddie, Drank, Fry, Fry Sweet, Ill, Illy, Milk, Purple Rain, Wack, Water-Water, Wet, Wet-Wet, Wetdaddy.

For further information please contact the Drug Enforcement Administration – Newark Division Intelligence Group at 973-273-5260.

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