Doctors warn of backyard weed with hallucinogenic effects
Emergency room doctors are warning of a dangerous new way to get high. Teenagers are smoking a flower that may be growing in your backyard.
It grows in about any Indiana field, even backyard gardens. It is a weed and some young people are abusing it.
"The real name of it is Datura, but also, a lot of other names, like Jimson weed, Devil's Trumpet and stinkweed," said Dr. James Mowry, Indiana Poison Center.
Mowry showed Eyewitness News the dry, open pod of one of the plants. A little bigger than a golf ball, it contains dozens of greenish-brown seeds, about the size of peppercorns.
The seeds produce the high when chewed or made into a tea for drinking. But the effect is not like that from marijuana, which some smoke to get a mellow feeling.
"This is not a pleasant experience," said Mowry.
People have disorienting hallucinations that could last more than a day. Those bad trips have sparked calls to the poison center. Sometimes, the user's temperature will spike dangerously and the user can't urinate for days.
In the spring, it looks like a pretty white flower amid broad leaves. But the seeds are harvested in the fall.
We found the seeds available on the Internet, on one site costing from $9-56. But the seller posts a disclaimer. The seeds are only to be used for plant identification purposes.
Each pod may contain between 50 and 100 seeds and some users take too many, because the high may not be immediate.
"There can be fatalities with amounts of that much," said Mowry.