Drug Mixed With Bug Spray, Producing Zombie-Like Effect, Sparks Concern

A street drug, known as KD, mixed with bug spray has sparked concerns in Indianapolis as medics say they are seeing a spike in overdoses. The drug, reportedly has a “zombie-like effect,” and contains high concentrations of pyrethroids.

This drug variation of KD can be found in different forms — marijuana, spice, tobacco, even banana leaves — but all of it is laced with a heavy-duty bug spray, like Raid. The mixture is then smoked.

“We find people passed out with it still in their hand. That is how fast it has an effect on them,” said Indianapolis Fire Department Captain Cpt. Chris Major. “We describe it as being like a zombie. They cannot talk to us… Their movements are slow and lethargic, a lot of drooling and a loss of function. We find them with their clothes off, eating the grass, pulling dirt out of the ground and trying to put it in their mouth.”

Cpt. Major reportedly told local media the drug is highly addictive and a little consumption can trigger an overdose.

“We have had the same person multiple times in one day,” Cpt. Major reportedly said. “They do not know what is in this stuff or who has made it so they are all taking chance. Which for some reason they are willing to do because we get the same people using over and over again.”

Detailing one of the incidents of an overdose, he said medics found a man in the grass, unresponsive and struggling to breathe. 

Cpt. Major said nearly dozen KD overdose incidents were reported to his team at IFD Station 27 in one day. Last year, IFD Station 27 had around 5,100 runs, of which some were KD overdose cases. 

According to reports, a person’s reaction to a mixed drug like KD depends on the concentration of the chemical and their own physiological response to that substance. 

“Someone can go from extremely combative to suddenly unconscious, not breathing and potentially in cardiac arrest,” Dan O’Donnell, medical director for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services and the Indianapolis Fire Department, said in January. “… We try to stay on top of it as much as we can through education and training and situational awareness about just what drugs are in the city, but as soon as we kind of catch up to one, they seem to introduce a new substance out there.”

According to experts, the bug-spray’s active ingredients are pyrethroids, which if exposed to in high concentrations could induce respiratory distress, and neuroexcitations, which might lead to sweating, muscle spasms or seizure, and also the risk of a coma-state. 

Marijuana smoke This representational image shows a man smoking a joint on June 3, 2017. Photo: Martin Bernetti/Getty Images

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