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Medically Reviewed

What are Wet Drugs and How are They Dangerous?

- 5 sections

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

medically-verified

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

If you have ever heard the term “wet drugs,” you have probably been wondering what they are. A wet drug is a slang term for any substance that is dipped in a liquid drug. Another common way that people talk about this drug is by saying they are “smoking wet.”[1]

Most often, wet drugs or simply “wet” refers to a cigarette that is dipped in liquid phencyclidine (PCP), embalming fluid, or both. People might also dip marijuana joints or blunts in these substances and refer to them as wet drugs.

Abusing wet drugs is incredibly dangerous, especially because most people are not aware of the actual substances they are smoking.

Understanding “Wet Drugs”

“Wet” refers to either tobacco or marijuana cigarettes that are dipped in PCP, embalming fluid, or a mixture of both. Once someone dips their cigarette in these substances, they smoke it to experience mind-altering effects.

PCP is an acronym for phencyclidine (also known as angel dust), a dissociative anesthetic that was once used for humans but was discontinued due to the effects it caused, such as irrational, aggressive, and delusional behavior.[2] Today, people abuse PCP by dipping their cigarettes into the liquid and smoking it, which is known on the street as “smoking wet.”

On the other hand, embalming fluid is a mixture of a variety of solvents, including formaldehyde, methanol, and glutaraldehyde. It is typically used to preserve human tissue after someone dies, but some people smoke the drug as it can cause hallucinogenic effects.[3]

While dipping cigarettes or marijuana in embalming fluid, PCP, or a mixture of both is often called “wet,” there are other slang terms for this substance. These nicknames include:[3]

  • Wet-wet
  • Fry
  • Wetdaddy
  • Crazy eddy
  • Water-water
  • Amp
  • Happy sticks
  • Fry sticks
  • Milk
  • Purple rain
  • Sherm
  • Sherm stick
  • Dippers

Effects of Abusing Wet Drugs

The effects of wet drugs depend on the combination of substances being abused. For example, the effects can change whether you are using a cigarette or marijuana and whether you are dipping them in PCP, embalming fluid, or both. Additionally, how much of the substance you smoke can change the effects you experience as well.

It is important to note that phencyclidine is addictive, as well as marijuana and tobacco. If you regularly abuse any of these substances together, you might develop a polysubstance use disorder, which is an addiction to more than one drug at a time.

Effects of smoking wet drugs containing phencyclidine include:

  • Changes in perception
  • Disconnection from reality
  • Euphoria
  • Changes in how you perceive time, such as time slowing down or speeding up
  • Panic and paranoia
  • Hallucinations and delusional thinking
  • Bouts of anger and aggressive behavior
  • Dreamlike or floaty feelings

It is difficult to say exactly what effects you will experience when smoking embalming fluid because there are several variations of chemicals that can be used to create it.

If you are abusing wet that contains embalming fluid, you could experience:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Anxiety, fear, and paranoia
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of emotional feelings and inability to feel pain

Can You Overdose on Wet Drugs?

When you are smoking wet drugs, you are at an increased risk of experiencing a PCP overdose. Because PCP is not regulated by the FDA, you have no idea what chemicals are in it or how strong it is, and dipping a cigarette in liquid PCP makes it impossible to control the dose you are taking.

Symptoms of a PCP overdose include:[4]

  • Overly excited and violent behavior
  • Catatonic trance
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Moving the eyes from side to side
  • Psychosis
  • Uncontrollable movements of the body
  • Lack of coordination

If you or someone you loved experiences a drug overdose, you should contact emergency medical services immediately. Approaching a person while they are under the influence of PCP or embalming fluid can be dangerous because they might exhibit psychotic or violent behavior. As a result, you should always tell the medical staff what substance the person has consumed.

Toxic Effects of Smoking Embalming Fluid

In addition to the risk of a PCP overdose, smoking embalming fluid can have detrimental and devastating effects on your health. Embalming fluid is an array of various chemicals that prevent a body from decomposing after someone has passed away, and taking it while alive can significantly impact your internal organs.

The toxic effects of smoking embalming fluid include:[5]

  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Lung damage and respiratory failure
  • Confusion
  • Edema and necrosis of body tissue
  • Various types of cancer
  • Brain damage
  • Death

Find Help for Drug Abuse and Addiction

Because wet drugs are so dangerous, it’s important to seek professional help when you develop an addiction. Whether your sherm sticks contain PCP, embalming fluid, or a mixture of both, smoking them can lead to a multitude of life-threatening effects and even death.

Thankfully, attending a reputable drug rehab program can provide you with the support and tools you need to achieve long-term sobriety. Contact Carolina Center for Recovery today to learn more about our North Carolina addiction treatment programs.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3568288/
  2. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs4/4440/index.htm
  3. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs11/12208/index.htm
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002526.htm
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3568288/

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