NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Parents beware! Your teenager’s next high may not come from a drug purchased on the street, but from one picked in the backyard.
In a growing and disturbing trend, teens and young adults are using flowers to get high and hallucinate, CBS 2′s Maurice Dubois reported Thursday.
The flowers are part of the Datura plant family and flourish in parks and backyards. The plants offer an easy-to-come-by and intense high, users said.
“It was just really, really intense, seeing people that weren’t there, talking to people that weren’t there,” explained a user who asked to remain anonymous.
That same user said the high took longer than expected to wear off and came with some unpleasant side effects.
“It was horrible and it lasted two days. The after affects were terrible. We got blurry vision. We actually thought we were going blind,” he said.
Other users told CBS 2 that their highs quickly turned into nightmares.
“My trip lasted over 30 hours. You really can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s a dream,” another user explained.
Anxiety, heart palpitations, paranoia, and vomiting are all common side effects as the plant literally poisons people, experts said.
Thousands are hospitalized and hundreds are killed by Datura use every year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
“My fear is that more and more people are going to die from taking this,” said drug and alcohol counselor John Corbett of Long Island’s Maryhaven Steps To Life Program.
Corbett said the problem is growing and it’s being fueled by the Internet. And experts explained that people are putting themselves in danger when they consume the dangerous toxic compounds that the plant uses to protect itself.
“Anyone who tries to experiment with these plants is in danger if they don’t have a lot of knowledge of the concentration or potency,” explained Rutgers professor William Hlubik.
The flowers bloom during the summer and are legal. However, several states have proposed legislation to ban them.
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