Nov 11, 2010 2:27 PM by David Ortiviz
What would grandma say? The same nutmeg you sprinkle on eggnog, or use in a pie recipe--is being used by some young people as a drug.
Doctors say two to seven table spoons of nutmeg can cause people to hallucinate. But what some curious kids don't realize, it can also make them sick for up to three days.
On YouTube, a quick search of the phrase "Nutmeg Trip" brings up dozens of videos of young people eating, smoking and even snorting nutmeg. What's the draw? Well, nutmeg is a legal substance and it's something they can find easily in their parent's kitchen cabinet.
But are kids really getting high off of nutmeg? "It's very rare that you would really get the more euphoric happy type of feeling," said Dr. Kevin Weber, who runs the emergency room at Saint Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo.
Dr. Weber says nutmeg abusers are more likely to experience negative side effects than a euphoric feeling. "A lot of people get abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting," said Dr. Weber. "You may get delirious, you're agitated, paranoid," he added.
Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which can cause the hallucinations and illnesses. After eating a lot of it, it can take three to six hours for users to feel the full effects. Discomfort can linger for up to three days. "Side affects may be so pronounced you may need to be hospitalized and monitored," said Dr. Weber.
Dr. Weber says nutmeg users usually get so sick, they won't want to try it again. However, it should send a red flag to parents about their child's willingness to experiment with drugs.
"They may not have enough money, they may not be in a place where they can get drugs, but they definitely have that personality were they are likely to abuse illicit drugs," said Dr. Weber.