Getting High off Nutmeg

Nutmeg costs an average of $6.99 and it may be one of the most expensive, and favorite, spices in your pantry. However, more and more kids are finding it a cheap and accessible way to get a thrill.

When nutmeg is used for cooking and baking, the spice is perfectly safe, and adds a delicious flavor.  Unfortunately, all you have to do is search the internet and you will uncover kids abusing the spice to get high.

A compound called myristicin is found in nutmeg, which belongs in the deliriant drug family.  The spice can give a “marijuana like buzz,” when abused in high doses, and even act as a hallucinogen in some cases.

Kids abusing the drug find coming down to be an even bigger scare.  A boy in treatment for the drug abuse had claimed he started to feel “really, really crazy depressed,” and even talked of wanting to kill himself.

Other reported side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal spasms
  • Convulsions
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Body pain
  • Irritation of the skin
  • Fever
  • Insomnia

Despite the side effects, the internet is a playground for kids who are experimenting with nutmeg.  Many kids say that it can take hours to get high, up to four and longer, but the thrill seeking exploration is enough for them to try it.

But what about the long term effects of abusing nutmeg?

“We don’t know what the long term effects will be,” explained Mark Segal with Second Genesis, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility based in Silver Spring, Washington.

Although nutmeg intoxication is currently being studied in humans, long term effects in lab animals have not been positive case studies. “Mice wind up with having cancer of the liver. Rabbits and guinea pigs wind up having lesions of the brain and the liver. Cats’ central nervous excitement that sometimes results in comas and liver damage,” says Segal.

People may think nutmeg is a better thing to get high on that a kid smoking pot or snorting cocaine, however parents be warned.  This drug is a potential gateway drug, which could lead to the abuse of harder drugs like marijuana or even Oxycontin. Eventually, the young person could cross over from recreational use to having a full blown drug addiction.