Trusted Content

Fry Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Dr. Richard Foster, LICDC-CS

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Richard Foster, LICDC-CS

March 13, 2019

Also called “wet” or “illy,” fry is delivered by cigarettes or marijuana that has been soaked in embalming fluid, dried out, and smoked.  This drug combination seems to be marketed towards teens and is dangerous for anyone who partakes in it.

What Is Fry?

One element of fry abuse that is raising alarms is that the substance is legal. Embalming fluid and some of its main chemical components (such as formaldehyde) can be purchased legally. Formaldehyde is present in some beauty products and is found in various science labs as a chemical used in preserving animal and biological specimens.

Fry contains a slew of harsh chemicals, many of which are considered solvents. One study elaborates on this, stating “Formaldehyde and methyl alcohol are the primary components of fry and are reported to produce physical effects among users including bronchitis, body tissue destruction, brain damage, lung damage, impaired coordination, and inflammation and sores in the throat, nose, and esophagus.”

One thing that makes this combination even more frightening, is that it is typically laced with PCP. A user, may either knowingly, or unknowingly smoke this and experience what, in many instances leads to bouts of violence and unpredictable behavior.

The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA) published a research brief on fry, specifically in regard to its use within adolescents. It spoke of the frightening presence of this drug within fry, stating that “Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties… The drug intensifies the effects of other depressants and can cause hallucinations, frightening “out of body” experiences, impaired motor coordination, depression, extreme anxiety, disorientation, paranoia, aggressive behavior and violence, seizures, and respiratory arrest.”

Reports indicate that the high from fry is highly variable, depending on the amount a person smokes and the exact makeup of the hazardous chemical cocktail that is laced within the marijuana or cigarettes. Reports suggest that the high may last only 20 minutes on the lower end, while on the higher end, people may be subjected to it for several days. During this time, a person’s behavior can become erratic and jeopardize the health of themselves and those around them.

Consider the impact of a drug on your system that is used to essentially preserve a body and halt decomposition from occurring by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. In order to successfully do this, a compound must have a severe toxic overload.

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What Are The Negative Effects And Dangers Of Fry Use?

Fry causes a variety of uncomfortable and dangerous side effects, especially when it contains PCP, they include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Euphoria
  • Rage
  • Trouble with your vision
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia and disorientation
  • Panic
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bouts of anger
  • Violence and aggressive behavior towards others
  • Irrational behavior (some reports cite that people are known to take their clothes off and behave in erratic and inappropriate ways)

A study titled “Smoking Wet: Respiratory Failure Related to Smoking Tainted Marijuana Cigarettes” reported instances of respiratory failure, and wrote that “The inhalation of embalming fluid has been linked to bronchitis, lung damage, and airway ulcerations.” In the most severe of instances, seizure, coma, and death may even result.

If you see any of the above symptoms or any other suspicious behaviors (including bottles of formaldehyde lying around) in your loved one’s life, don’t hesitate—their health and well-being is in jeopardy.

The Risks Of Fry Within Polydrug Use

Some reports suggest that fry abuse is often accompanied by other drug use, notably alcohol (especially within adolescent populations), which can further impair a person’s ability to function and increase the odds of damage or danger to themselves or someone around them. Additionally, alcohol impairs a person’s judgement, which might lead to a person using more fry, and putting themselves at greater risk.

Some individuals choose to use this drug with even harder drugs, anytime a person engages in polydrug use the risk increases. One study researched the prevalence of fry use within a population of 426 African-Americans that used crack. The study found that “Of this group of self-reported polydrug users, 40% stated that they used fry in their lifetime.” Their research illustrated that fry users had increased instances of casual sex, a greater chance of trading sex for drugs, a higher prevalence of having contracted gonorrhea, and higher rates of polydrug use, including codeine or marijuana.

Anytime you use more than one drug, it is imperative that you inform your addiction support team so that they can accurately make informed decisions about your care.

This Drug Is Impacting Adolescents

It is startling to hear that fry use seems to be high within younger populations. Due to its potent nature, this can be a very dangerous combination as youth of this age are often lacking the information and confidence to make informed, consciousness, and safe decisions. What was disturbing within the TCADA report, was that the researcher found that adolescents were unaware that they were consuming PCP within their fry.

The most study that examined fry use within crack users also cited research that found that of 494 seventh through twelfth graders who had self-reported their drug use, 11 percent had used fry at some point in their life, while two percent had used it within the past 30 days. What is most startling about this, is that at this age, adolescent brains are still undergoing significant growth and cognitive development.

Treating Fry Abuse And Addiction

Being that fry—most notably due to the common presence of PCP—can cause such unrest and psychological strife, certain medications may be needed to quell these symptoms if a person is still experiencing the effects of the drug. The TCADA report suggests that “Such alerts also should include recommendations to treat extreme behaviors such as those mentioned above with antipsychotic medications such as haloperidol and sedatives such as diazepam (Valium).” Your exact medical treatment will vary dependent on your situation. When you seek treatment, if is crucial that you inform the physician or addiction support team of any other drugs you may be using, either illicitly, or prescribed.

If you witness any of the above symptoms in yourself or someone you love, or at all suspect fry use, take the time to educate yourself on the risks and treatment of this drug use. A good facility should be well-versed in how to handle polydrug use, so that they can address the mental, emotional, and physical effects that each drug imposes on a person’s system. In this case, the treatment facility should be skilled at treating PCP abuse, as a person that uses fry, may unwittingly become psychologically dependent on this drug.

Therapy is an essential pillar of any good rehabilitation program. Oftentimes, when a person uses drugs, they are using them as a means to temper some unrest or dissatisfaction that they have in their life. Their concerns might run so deep to actually be a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. In this case, a facility needs to not only be adept at treating the drug addiction, but also any dual-diagnosis concerns such as these. Resolving a co-occurring disorder alleviates the stress that it causes on a person that may manifest as triggers or drive them to abuse drugs.

Specific concern needs to be granted to adolescents that may need care, as they face a unique set of challenges that revolve around their peer and social interactions. For this reason, their therapy and treatment needs to engage them in a manner to teach them relapse prevention skills for when they return to their lives, at this age, they may, due to peer pressure experience an excess of triggers during this time.

Treatment for adolescents may include group or individual therapy based within cognitive behavioral practices, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that both adolescent community reinforcement approach (A-CRA) and various family-based therapies may be effective within this age group.

Don’t Let This Drug Damage You Or Someone You Love

If you’re worried that your experimentation has gone too far, or if you’re witnessing someone you love spiral out of control with this dangerous drug, please don’t wait any longer. Or staff understands the severity of the situation and can advise you in how to best find help. Contact us at today.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information - The Use Of Fry (Embalming Fluid And PCP-Laced Cigarettes Or Marijuana Sticks) Among Crack Cocaine Smokers

The National Center for Biotechnology Information - “Smoking Wet”: Respiratory Failure Related to Smoking Tainted Marijuana Cigarettes

New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services - Fry

ABC News - Kids Use Embalming Fluid As Drug

That National Institute on Drug Abuse - Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide

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