ROCKFORD (WREX) -The summer can be a dangerous time when it comes to drugs. The Illinois Poison Center sees more cases of overdoses now than any other time of year. The Poison center says hallucinogenic drugs seem to gain popularity over these warm months and they are showing up in places from major concert venues to backyards.
“Teens and young adults are out of school, they are out of high school, out of college for the summer. They are at festivals, at concerts, at parties in larger groups of friends. It just seems like it’s easier access to it this time of year,” says Dr. Carol DesLauriers, a pharmacist.
The Illinois Poison Center often helps hospitals and doctors treat overdoses. Typically the center gets more calls from July to September than the 8 other months of the year combined. Since June, 25 people overdosed on hallucinogenic drugs. One patient died. But those are only cases voluntarily reported to the IPC. Drugs like ecstasy and a new, purer version called Molly are popular. Overdoses are not necessarily wake up calls to drug users who survive.
“Often times they don’t remember a lot about it. They are looking for excitement from the addiction. They’ve built up a huge tolerance so many of them feel that even though they are told this could be a lethal dose. They feel they are somewhat superhuman,” says Cheryl Piper, Remedies.
Piper and Dr. DesLauriers worry with so many people in Rockford already abusing hardcore drugs like heroin mixing with this new trend of hallucinogenic could be deadly.
“With each one of the drugs they have their own separate risk so with heroin the risk is that you stop breathing, with these hallucinogenic amphetamines that you have seizures or really high temperatures and then if you take the two together you are just adding insult to injury,” says Dr. DesLauriers.