Tech & Science

What Is Katie? Drugs Mixed With Bug Spray Create Dangerous, Zombie-Like High

Police and emergency medical professionals in Indianapolis have seen an increase in drug overdoses of "Katie," drugs mixed with Raid bug spray that puts users into a dangerous zombie-like state.

Police have received “dozens” of calls for adverse reactions to Katie, also referred to as 'KD' and 'zombie,' Men’s Health reported. Katie is a street name for a wide variety of drugs, all of which have been laced with bug repellent. Mixing Raid with a drug gives users a 45-minute high that leaves them in a zombie-like state, USA Today reported.

“You look at what it does to a bug, and then you got to think what it’s doing to your brain and your body and everything else,” Indianapolis firefighter Scott Lebherz told IndyStar.

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Users are reported to display alarming behavior, such as stripping completely and eating grass and dirt, The Miami Herald reported. Users can also become inexplicably aggressive. Bug spray has high concentrations of a compound called pyrethroids. Animal studies showed that exposure to this chemical can increase adrenaline levels quickly.

03_21_getty In some cases, Raid is being added to ‘Spice,’ a synthetic marijuana. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Abusing bug spray for its high effect is not a new trend, with News Mississippi reporting the alarming behavior as early as last summer. In addition to the increased high, mixing a drug with another chemical also helps to increase its bulk and profit for drug dealers.

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Pyrethroids in bug spray, however, can be deadly in high concentrations. They can cause respiratory distress and excessive sweating, muscle spasms or seizures, USA Today reported. In addition, these chemicals can cause users to fall into a coma.  

Bug spray is a legal substance, which means that it can be difficult to monitor and control the production and sale of Katie. However, law enforcement believe that raising awareness on the dangers of this drug may be key to curbing its use.

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