Aug 12, 2010 5:57 PM by David Ortiviz

Doctor says teens getting high off of poisonous plant

Doctors want to warn parents about a poisonous plant teens are eating to get high. It's called Datura stramonium, but it's better known as jimson weed.

In Pueblo, there have been a few cases where kids ate the plant and ended up in the emergency room. "Most parents don't know anything about jimson weed," said Dr. Kevin Weber, medical director of the emergency room at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

Jimson weed is prickly, poisonous and grows in wild. "Any part of the plant can be toxic," said Dr. Weber.

Over the years, Dr. Weber has treated several patients who overdosed on jimson weed. "We have seen people that were very agitated, very confused, uncontrollable," said Dr. Weber.

Dr. Weber says it's not common and most cases are mild, but severe cases could be fatal. "Seizure, coma and possibly death," said Dr. Weber.

Videos on YouTube show people acting disoriented after ingesting jimson weed. Dr. Weber says the most common abusers he's seen are young teens. "Usually in the 14 to 16 age range. They've haven't experienced a lot of drug use or alcohol use they do want to get high, they're kind of experimenting around," said Dr. Weber.

Fortunately, Dr. Weber says most teens won't get addicted to it. "A lot of the effect of it is not euphoric, but dysphoric, it's an unpleasant effect. So after somebody's tried it, they realize it's not pleasant," said Dr. Weber.

Pueblo police say it is not illegal to possess jimson weed in Colorado.


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