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Aired November 10, 2002 - 20:00   ET


SERENA ALTSCHUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everybody has a different name for it. Wet, illy, fry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), dust, wet, black (ph). If you mix it with weed, then it's matrix (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The officers just ran away from us. We are seeing these little baggies with the little pictures on it, just what I have read about.

ALTSCHUL: Do you know what it is you took?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a lot of reasons, it's a bad drug.


AARON BROWN, HOST: When we started hearing about a new craze on the drug scene, about kids smoking just about anything dipped in embalming fluid, it made us wonder why. Why would anyone lace tobacco or marijuana, mint leaves, even crushed duct tape with embalming fluid and then smoke the stuff? And what of the effects of smoking embalming fluid?

It turns out that what we have found about this strange concoction, which is often referred to as wet or dust or fry, is that in many cases it is just a new twist on an old drug, PCP.

Now, to be sure, there is no fry of dust epidemic at this point, but PCP by any name is trouble. Smoking it can cause schizophrenia or homicidal rage, and the use of PCP is on the rise across the country, mainly in cities.

Not coincidentally, PCP-related emergency room admissions are also on the rise, up nearly 80 percent in the last three years.

One of the places this unusual and dangerous drug is prevalent these days is the state of Connecticut. They call it illy there, and that is where Serena Altschul went to find out who is using it and what happens to them.

What she found now, in this CNN PRESENTS documentary, "Fried."


ALTSCHUL (on camera): We have a contact with someone in New Haven who knows some guys that smoke regularly, and we are supposed to meet up with them at 10:00, which is very soon. I guess we are pulling in right now. OK, these guys are coming. I am going to turn the light on right now. I am just going to get out and go talk to them and see if they are cool with it. So I will be back and see you in a minute.

(voice-over): They agreed to appear on camera, but most didn't want their faces shown.

(on camera): What do they call it here? Is it dust or wet or?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wet or dust, you know what I'm saying.

Lito (ph), Lee (ph), (UNINTELLIGIBLE) be smoking it. They know what that is. They go put them on the spot -- they just be getting dusted.

ALTSCHUL: Let's just go over here. So what does it look like? What -- oh, yeah. So that's smell's really strong. That's 20 bucks? And how long will that last?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About two hours.

ALTSCHUL: Two hours? And you smoke it straight like that?


ALTSCHUL: But you don't roll it up or anything?


ALTSCHUL: Oh, in a (UNINTELLIGIBLE), so like a blunt. It's like weed, but stronger.


ALTSCHUL: Way stronger.


ALTSCHUL: What is it -- do you know what it has in it? What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know what they got in it. I say, it got 36 chemicals were (ph) together.

ALTSCHUL: That's it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it got like 36 chemicals in it.

ALTSCHUL: It doesn't have like PCP in...


ALTSCHUL: It does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. What, I'll say it. It depends how much PCP in it, because high doses you could flip out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go into a seizure, comma, die off it, heart stop. (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

ALTSCHUL: So ideally, you don't want it too strong. You don't want it that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm saying, people out here want it strong. They want to get stuck. You can stay here and just -- with your eyes open and just really your mind would just be gone. You could just be stuffed (ph). Know what I'm saying. It's really strong, though.

ALTSCHUL: Why do people say it has got embalming fluid in it? That's what everyone says, embalming fluid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Embalming fluid, rocket fuel, real tight (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

ALTSCHUL: And it always smell like that? Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's how it really smells.

ALTSCHUL: That's what -- what is that smell? Do you know what that is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's formaldehyde.

ALTSCHUL: It is the formaldehyde?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Formaldehyde, yeah.


(voice-over): Just off the side of the street, they rolled their illy in cigar papers.

(on camera): So it's like little black flakes, this stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. It is little flakes. This (UNINTELLIGIBLE) mint flakes. Maybe -- it's like spices.

ALTSCHUL: Sometimes they use mint leaves and stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, mint leaves.

ALTSCHUL: They use anything else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, but I ain't going to tell you what it is.

ALTSCHUL: You're not going to tell me? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nah, you straight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a bag and a half.

ALTSCHUL: So you roll it really thin like that? The...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, you got to make sure you -- it is because -- if you roll it too tight, people won't be able to pull it. It would like -- people start (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I can't pull it, I can't taste or nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many people smoking?

ALTSCHUL: How does it make you feel when you smoke it? Is it -- how is it different from weed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your body start getting numb.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a numbness in your body.

ALTSCHUL: Your whole body gets numb? And then your mind is still...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your lips, you -- like your gums, your lips start getting numb. Yeah. If it's official, then you can't get (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I just took two tokes. In some clubs, you can sneak it in and smoke it in clubs. You come out, they smoking it -- they smoke when they come out. I said, when (UNINTELLIGIBLE) mostly, people that smoke this usually smoke it at night. It is more of a nighttime drug.

ALTSCHUL: More of a nighttime drug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, people like normally, because this -- people don't like getting dusted during -- know what I am saying -- during the day, because it's the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) make it -- the light (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your eyes.

ALTSCHUL: Too bright in the day to smoke...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it's too bright. Your vision be blurry, but at nighttime, this is more like a nighttime drug.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not like addictive. It's not like I need to. I just do it because everybody else is doing it around me. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yo, man, bring that il back, man. Bring it over here. Party with the il.

ALTSCHUL: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he got over there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just started getting blurry.

ALTSCHUL: You start to see blurry, sort of -- vision? Like lights and stuff are blurry?


ALTSCHUL: Just bright lights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Starting to feel good now.

ALTSCHUL: Starting to feel good?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See a lighter, yo?

ALTSCHUL: You don't worry about what it does to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm saying, I'm saying, I do, but really, I really don't care. Because I'm saying that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I am going to die sooner or later -- you're going to die sooner or later. You ain't going to be here forever. I ain't going to be here forever.

ALTSCHUL: Yeah. What should we know? What should we learn if we don't know anything about dust, we don't know anything about wet, illy, fry...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't do it. Don't touch it. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) If you never smoked it...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't touch it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... don't smoke it. You are chasing your first wet high. That's what it is.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to get the same high you had the first time you smoked it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are chasing your first high, that's what you're doing.

ALTSCHUL: Talking to these kids that -- you know, they are in their early 20s. They clearly smoke, you know, who knows how often they smoke, but, you know, the fact that they say don't do it when I say, you know, what should people know about this drug. And they say, if you never smoked it, don't smoke it.

It's sort of, you know, they are not sitting there talking about how great it is, how much they love it, how much fun they are having. They say, you know, after the first time you smoke it, you are always chasing that first high.

(voice-over): When CNN PRESENTS returns, the science of illy from dealers to doctors.

DR. LEWIS NELSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: One would typically describe it as a dysphoric, as opposed to a euphoric effect. Dysphoria meaning bad, unpleasant, right, which kind of makes you wonder why anybody would want to do it.


ALTSCHUL: To get a better sense of exactly what illy and what it can do to you, we went to Belleview Hospital in New York City, to talk to two doctors who have been studying and writing about illy since 1998.

(on camera): In you estimate then, when kids are taking illy, wet, fry, whatever they want to call it, it is embalming fluid dipped cigarettes, marijuana joints, or you think it is laced also with PCP?

NELSON: You are taking up a type of PCP that is not soluble in water. You have to put it into an organic solvent, something that's able to dissolve it.

ALTSCHUL: Kind of like ether?

NELSON: Yeah, something that's like ether. It could be gasoline, it could be anything.

ALTSCHUL: Anything?

NELSON: For whatever reason, like many of these trends, they have decided that the thing that they want to dissolve it in is embalming fluid.

DR. JULIE HOLLAND, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: People -- they try just thinking it's a new drug, and you know, people get excited about a new drug. It doesn't often come along that there is a new drug, and so they want to try the new drug and they think it's just like a -- you know, a little bit of a twist on marijuana, and they get much more than they bargain for. They don't know that it's PCP or that it very likely could be PCP. And that's what I think is the public health issue.

ALTSCHUL: Can you get high smoking embalming fluid?

NELSON: It is a hydrocarbon. And hydrocarbons do things to people. They make you sleepy, they make you euphoric, and they have other effects like that, but I don't think that it would make you hallucinate. I certainly don't think it would make you hallucinate the way that these people do. HOLLAND: There is sort of a saying among toxicologists and psychiatrists that naked running is PCP until proven otherwise. There is something about PCP intoxication that causes people to disrobe and run through the streets.

NELSON: When you use LSD or use DMT, you use something that is a hallucinogen. You feel good, you feel up, you feel euphoric. Generally you enjoy your hallucination. You know, nobody ever described it as anything other than pleasurable, except in a rare cases where you have bad trips. But the average user of PCP or of one of the preparations that we are talking about, like illy or wet or hydro (ph) is one that would typically describe as a dysphoric as opposed to a euphoric effect. Dysphoria meaning bad, unpleasant, right, which kind of makes you wonder why anybody would want to do it.

ALTSCHUL: This is the morgue, here at the hospital. This is obviously where bodies are stored, but it is also where the embalming fluid is also stored, in a cabinet. These kinds of containers are the ones that people like to get their hands on to cut this PCP with.

(voice-over): Even though this toxic liquid is a restricted substance in many states, it still finds its way to the streets.

(on camera): These are some of the people we met last night. They are bringing someone over who deals and actually has -- I guess -- large quantities of stuff, and maybe even in its liquid form, so we can actually get to see it.

So you guys -- you actually have some, or?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. I have the other form before it's smokable, right now.

ALTSCHUL: Can I see it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. This is the form right here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what it looks like.

ALTSCHUL: Does this have embalming fluid in it?


ALTSCHUL: It does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what they say, yeah. I don't -- I am not a chemist. I can't tell you. I can't break it down to you like that.

ALTSCHUL: Wow, that smells so strong.


ALTSCHUL: That is exactly what it smells like. The street stuff. So it goes -- you put the flakes in here, and then you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to bake the flakes.

ALTSCHUL: Bake it.


ALTSCHUL: Wow. And so how much does a vial like this go for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This? I buy this in New York for...

ALTSCHUL: Like a grand, couple grand?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. It makes over $1,000.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I buy in New York for like $250.

ALTSCHUL: How hard is it to get in New York?


ALTSCHUL: It's easy. In New York it's easy to get. And it's easy to make, like to turn this into what I saw in the little bags that I have seen that ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't go to college, and I can do it.

NELSON: And whenever something comes up that is new and unique, antennas go up and we start thinking maybe we are seeing a new epidemic. We saw enough of it in New York and Connecticut that we were very concerned, and we didn't really know what it was. And it didn't make sense when it was being billed as, so I think that in order to really understand what's wrong with our patients we really went out looking for answers. And the way you get the answer is to find the product. And when you get the product and you analyze it, you find out that in fact it is PCP that is the active ingredient. It is not just marijuana or whatever it is that kids are smoking.

HOLLAND: A lot of people don't realize it's PCP or think it's not PCP, and think that just plain old embalming fluid is psychoactive, but most of the people who really specialize in this, I think, think that it is PCP. And a lot of times if you do a urine toxicology screen, somebody who comes in high on illy, they will test positive for PCP.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): There are no legal uses for PCP anymore. Not even for animals. The DEA tells us that most of the PCP in the country is manufactured by Los Angeles street gangs, and they batch it, and then it is distributed nationwide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This illy turns into -- after the long process, this is what you get right here.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): How long is the process, like to go from the liquid form to this form?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to ask the chef right over there. He can -- he can't be on camera, but you got to ask the chef who cooks it up for me.

What's the process -- about an hour? I'm saying what's the process -- like an hour?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty minutes.

ALTSCHUL: It takes 20 minutes to go from the liquid to...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About a half hour, to be exact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half hour from this form to that form.

ALTSCHUL: To the flakes form?



NELSON: Most people like the euphoria that drugs cause. And that's why the most popular drugs are euphoric drugs. You know, Ecstasy is the ultimate in euphoria in a way. Alcohol is too. And that is why people use them. There are definitely a subpopulation of people who like to get dysphoric, who like to feel bad. Combining a euphoric and a dysphoric drug may put you in a place that you like to be, and that is why people go back to it.

ALTSCHUL: How many people do you know that will buy from...




ALTSCHUL: A hundred different people will come to...


ALTSCHUL: So there are a lot of people out there smoking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's only what I know. Imagine what I don't know.


HOLLAND: I feel like I am absolutely seeing more PCP cases in the psychiatric emergency room (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I am hearing about more PCP, I am hearing more people talk about dust, angel dust. I am hearing more people coming in from Philadelphia who are high on wet, which sounds like it's embalming fluid. They say that they think it's embalming fluid, but they are testing positive for PCP.

ALTSCHUL: How long have you been able to make stuff?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's strange (ph). Like over a year and a half.

ALTSCHUL: OK. And how quickly can you turn it -- like a...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm saying, what, this?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Depending on -- I am saying on good days, I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) two days.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good days, two days.

ALTSCHUL: That's fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot faster than a job would do.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): When "Fried" returns, out on the street. A losing battle against dealers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man. Wet. That's your wet. That's your illy.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): Well, I can smell it from here.


SERGENT ARVID LUSWICH (ph): Hey, Curtis, I am making my way over to the projects, so can you guys, you know, start that way for me?

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Sergent Arvid Luswich (ph) heads up the special narcotics unit in Hartford, another Connecticut town with an illy problem.

(on camera): Is there a specific type of kid you see coming in looking for it, or just all different kinds of kids?

LUSWICH (ph): Just like it's different, but you see two sets. You see one that is suburban kids that, you know, wants to be in the hip-hop scene. You know, always down with it, you know, hanging with everyone else. You know what I am saying? And then you got inner city kids that are just standing out here, and those are the ones that either they are -- the far gone kids that are not going to be in school, they are not going to be working. They are getting up at 11:00 in the afternoon, and you know what? They don't have too many things to worry about.


LUSWICH (ph): You know, and they -- and they are trying to keep themselves that way.

What we do is go in here. What you want to look at are the guys over there. That is them -- this is the joint right here.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): We sat with Sergent Luswich (ph) while he and his undercover unit surveilled a suspected illy hot spot.

LUSWICH (ph): Those guys over there -- either they are smoking, but most of the time, they just drink. You got the kids leaning against the wall.


LUSWICH (ph): Those are basically the guys waiting for somebody with weed and whatnot to come by. And then you will see the kid coming -- see the guy coming down from the projects?

ALTSCHUL: Yeah, coming down right there.

LUSWICH (ph): That's how they get it. See. They come out of the projects -- he is going to come across. So he is waiting on somebody that probably ordered something or he is going to take an order.

ALTSCHUL: How long will they hang out over there?

LUSWICH (ph): All night long. You got dealers and -- and the dealers have runners, and the runners do all the running for them, and the guy sits up there in a house or sits on his step and waits for them to come back.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): As the night progressed, the parking lot outside the Qwik Stop became more and more crowded.

LUSWICH (ph): Hey, Ray. And Lester. You guys there?

I am looking at the Qwik Stop over here. And it looks a little -- well, it don't look, it is busy.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): So they are not just buying lotto tickets over there?

LUSWICH (ph): No, no, no, no, no. They get a little more than lotto tickets.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Only 20 minutes after we arrived, Sergeant Luswich (ph) spotted a suspect.

LUSWICH (ph): Kid that's dealing got on a black T-shirt. He has got on some jeans -- those three-quarter length pants. He has got braids in his head. He going back up the path -- up into the projects. He just left the Qwik Mart, man. He just left there. I think he hit a car off and he is going back.

ALTSCHUL: Five minutes later, the sun set, and we headed toward the projects.

LUSWICH (ph): See at the backend of the projects -- that's one side. That is where that kid went up. See the pathway there, and there is a hole in the fence there.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): So your other partners...

RADIO CHATTER: South side, guys.

ALTSCHUL: Spotted the kid. He's here. Are you going to talk to him or?

LUSWICH (ph): No, no. We are going to arrest him. We are going to go in there and get him.

All right, I am coming down the hill, all right? (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

That is the boy that was selling.

ALTSCHUL: Where about...

LUSWICH (ph): Right there.

ALTSCHUL: Oh, I see.

(voice-over): Just as we got out of the car, the team spotted a second suspected dealer trying to get away.

LUSWICH (ph): Right here, right here. Right here...

ALTSCHUL (on camera): He is running. See him? See him. He is running.

OK, well the officers just ran away from us. Oh gosh, at least they got some guy here.

LUSWICH (ph): Come on. Come on.

Hold on, Patty. He is coming now. What are you picking up?

Oh, man.

ALTSCHUL: What you got?

LUSWICH (ph): Come here.


LUSWICH (ph): You want to smell something? Smell that. That's your wet. That's your illy.

ALTSCHUL: Oh, well, I can smell it from here.

LUSWICH (ph): You can smell it, see.

ALTSCHUL: OK, so we are seeing like these little baggies with the little pictures on it. Just what I read about.

LUSWICH (ph): See the bottle cap? ALTSCHUL: Yeah, this thing?

LUSWICH (ph): They try to keep it in a container to keep the smell down. They cut the air off so you don't have to smell it.

ALTSCHUL: Can I get the cap and get a sniff?


LUSWICH (ph): Yes. See what I am saying. Now turn it upside down.

ALTSCHUL: Oh, wow. That smell's so bad.

LUSWICH (ph): Yeah. Turn it upside down...

ALTSCHUL: That makes me dizzy just smelling it.

LUSWICH (ph): Well, it's in the cap.

ALTSCHUL: In the cap. It's in the cap.

LUSWICH (ph): Now if you turned it around like this, how would you know that was sitting on the ground?

ALTSCHUL: Right, you have no idea.

LUSWICH (ph): You see what I am saying. You have no idea.

ALTSCHUL: And there is one there...

LUSWICH (ph): See, that is how they get it -- that's how they get by. The stuff fall out.

The other guy got illy, too?

Oh, OK.

So like I said. That other kid. He has got the same stuff on him. Same packaging and everything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the same one.

LUSWICH (ph): Same thing. OK. That's the bag of choice right now.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): While we talked, the narcotics team picked up a third suspect less than 50 yards away.

LUSWICH (ph): They were serving on this side while we were talking over there?

Oh, my God. That don't make me feel good either, Lester.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): So he was dealing right here...

LUSWICH (ph): Right. Right.


LUSWICH (ph): I don't like that.


LUSWICH (ph): Yeah, he got to go to jail. He ought to be glad he is going to jail.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): The two adults here plead guilty to drug charges. One is serving four months in jail, the other paid a $500 fine. The third arrestee is a minor, and under state law, the court clerk can tell us only that the case has been disposed of. All three have prior drug records.

When we return, the consequences of getting busted, kids in rehab, some using illy since they were 12 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was just embalming fluid, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) using all that. And then like -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I found out it was PCP, embalming fluid, and people would put like tobacco or pieces of mint in it, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) PCP.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they trick you.


ALTSCHUL (voice-over): We found a program outside New Haven called New Choices that treats teenagers for drug abuse. And we went there to talk to kids who use illy.

(on camera): This particular rehabilitation clinic that we are heading into is pretty much the last stop for young people, who are sent here by the court, because if they're caught using illy or any other drugs again, they are sent into the correctional system -- the juvenile correctional system.

(voice-over): Adam tested positive for drugs while on probation for marijuana possession. He's 16-years-old, from the suburbs of Hartford.

(on camera): What do they call it were you're from, because everybody has a different name for it -- wet, illy, fry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They call it hemi (ph), dust, wet, black (ph) -- if you mix it with weed, then it's matrix (ph).

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Kenny is 15, and from the inner city in Bridgeport. He tested positive for drugs while on probation for stealing a car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was doing more to doing the dust, as illy, as you call it -- well, I call it that, more than smoking weed and drinking liquor, because illy, it gives you more highs and better substance than most of them.

ALTSCHUL: Gene is also 15, from the suburbs of New Haven. He too is in rehab because he failed a drug test while on probation for marijuana possession.

(on camera): When did you first try it -- when was your first, you know, illy experience?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beginning in ninth grade.

ALTSCHUL: How old?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was just embalming fluid (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and all that, but then like, as the year went on -- I found out there was PCP, embalming fluid, and people would put like tobacco or pieces of mint in it, to make people think that it was different -- a different drug. So they'd buy it, because people don't want to do PCP.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So they trick you.

ALTSCHUL: It's not very expensive, right? I mean, one of those little bags of illy is like $5, $10, right?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I used to sell the substance, because I noticed all the people doing it, and don't know where to buy it from, so I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE) an opportunity for me to make money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a job (UNINTELLIGIBLE), $20, $30, here and there, to make a buy.

ALTSCHUL: So, you were caddying at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) jobs on the weekends to get money to buy the...


ALTSCHUL: Paid you well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people didn't want to go up there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... to wherever I had to go to go get it, so I just bring it back.

ALTSCHUL: You'd get like a bundle, 10 back... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'd get more than that -- I buy a whole bunch, and I sell it for $20 a day, but I got it for like five or four, something like that.

And people all love that stuff.

ALTSCHUL: So, you started with marijuana, and then what -- like do you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ecstasy, coke, dust, acid and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Basically after weed I went to anything I could find.

ALTSCHUL: And how many kids in your school, do you think, had, you know, at this point, have tried it in your class?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My class? My class, probably 180 kids -- probably 50 of them.

ALTSCHUL: Fifty of the kids in 180...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of my sophomore class, yes.

ALTSCHUL: Amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I did the substance, I was more of an angry type person than I am now. You won't know what you're doing, or who you're around, where you're going, what you're doing next, or what you're doing at that moment, you really didn't know anything. You're like basically trying to think, but you can't, because the substance is eating your brains.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one time, I was all dusted, that's what you call it when you're high off it, I got out of the car, and my -- at a gas station -- my pants were all down, I don't know, and I walked up, I was just walking around with my pants down, and that happened to me a lot.

ALTSCHUL: Can you talk to your friends, when you're doing that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can talk, but I don't know if you can understand that they're saying. Depends on how much you're doing.

ALTSCHUL: What would you do together, then? You weren't in school when you did it.


ALTSCHUL: You went to school while you were on it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was stupid, but at school, it was terrible. I just got confused, didn't know what to do. I like went to the bus stop and I wasn't sure if the bus came already, I wasn't sure if it was even a school day, wasn't sure if it was Saturday, wasn't sure if it was noon, I didn't know anything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It scared me a little bit, so I didn't do that anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had kids younger than my age coming up to me and buying it, kids 10, 11, 12, kids my age doing it, and I'm like -- wow -- it's getting out of control.

ALTSCHUL: Kids who are 10 and 11 and 12 years old were buying it from you, and you're how old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 15 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dust was like an underground drug. Ecstasy is just all over, I don't even like it -- I don't like ecstasy. Makes you all happy and say stuff you don't want to say.


ALTSCHUL: He says, mix weed with what?


ALTSCHUL: With leglee (ph), what's that?


ALTSCHUL: It's dust. It's got so many names.


ALTSCHUL: Do you hope, you know, at this point that you won't do it again -- do you -- how do -- what do you think you will or you won't or...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. There might be some cases, like, if I go to a party or club, I might want to be wild because I don't if you were -- I don't know.

ALTSCHUL: What is the appeal with this drug? I mean, it's not like smoking weed, it's not like getting drunk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really don't know. I just do it because it's something different. It's not the same, it's out of the ordinary. Not really a reason, I don't think.

ALTSCHUL: Do you worry about maybe what it's doing to your brain, or how it's affecting...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't at time, but now I'm a little (ph) concerned after being straight for a while.

ALTSCHUL: What will happen when you go home? Do you feel like maybe, I mean, it's going to be all around you, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's going to be a problem, because my boy lives right around the corner from me, and he know when I come home, that I just do the substance more than him. So he's going to -- when I get home, yo, let's go smoke, and I'm going to be like, I don't want do that, I can't do it. And he'll be like, why? Because I'm was in a drug program, and I'm trying not to do that such thing. And he's going to be like, what, the kid that used to literally sell this, and use this more than me, don't want to do it no more, how is that possible?

Hey, anything's possible, know what I mean?

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): When "Fried" returns, busts and rehab aren't the only consequences of illy use. They're psychosis, schizophrenia and rage.


ALTSCHUL (on camera): We're in the emergency room at the Yale Hospital in New Haven, where they get at least 10 cases a week of people coming in on illy.

PHIL BREWER, PHYSICIAN: This is a very unusual Friday night.


BREWER: Unusually, not too many people here.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Dr. Phil Brewer first noticed illy seven years ago, and created a task force to warn people of its dangers.

(on camera): So, if you're coming in here and you're on illy, you wouldn't be coming through the waiting room, you're coming in handcuffs?

BREWER: If you are having an illy rage, you come here, and we generally know ahead of time, because the ambulance folks will call ahead for multiple hospital security backup.

PATRICK CLEARY, PARAMEDIC: I've seen four or five, six police officers with mace, handcuffs, the whole nine, and it did stop, you know. We usually stand back and wait for, of course, the police to secure the scene, but sometimes you don't know what you're going walk into, and it just you and your partner...


CLEARLY: ... and like, you know, now, you're stuck, now what do we do?

BREWER: They are screaming and yelling, and fighting and kicking and biting, and hallucinating, and paranoid.

DR. KAREN JUBANYK, PHYSICIAN: It's kind of scary, because you see these people, they can't be reasoned with, they have an incredible amount of energy, you could see what might happen if they come in contact with law enforcement who have guns. OFFICER ROBERT HALL, NEW HAVEN POLICE: A lot of times they come in with their clothes off, you know, they got a habit of taking their clothes off, getting naked for some reason, I don't know what it is.

ALTSCHUL: I hear that over and over again.

HALL: Yes.

ALTSCHUL: What is that?

HALL: I couldn't tell you.

ALTSCHUL: Right now you're seeing like approximately 10 a week, or...

MARK D'ANTONIO: There about. It depends. Last weekend, I'm told, we had 10 come in in one night.

ALTSCHUL: Oh, that's remarkable.

D'ANTONIO: From a huge -- right, from a huge party. So, those types of things are probably pretty rare, but again, you know, in a town like New Haven, which has very a eclectic, sort of, you know, sort of a melting pot of people, you can see any one of a number of things given time of the year, or even the weekend.

ALTSCHUL: For a Friday night, things are pretty slow here so far. They had one person in earlier, but they let him go. And right now they've got a liver laceration and a guy who's taken too many oxycodons (ph), or oxyconten (ph), we don't know yet. So far, pretty quiet for a Friday night.


ALTSCHUL: This guy just came in and she told me that this is the first guy tonight, I guess, who's smoked illy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just kind of, laugh and talk to themselves, and, you know.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): There's not much the ER staff can with a patient like this, other than wait for the right moment to sedate them.

(on camera): You see people like this come in a lot?



TESCH: It's very typically behavior. And then all of a sudden, they sometimes will just go like almost catatonic, and then have outbursts -- just worse than this.


ALTSCHUL: Why's he so mad?

TESCH: He's maybe hallucinating and he is seeing things, hearing things. God only knows...


TESCH: ... you know.


So -- yes, you can tell, he sort of goes in between...

TESCH: Really back and forth, and he could come back in three minutes, and he could be completely still, staring at absolutely nothing, and then five minutes later behave like this all over again.

ALTSCHUL: So, does this look like...

BREWER: Yes, how you doing?


BREWER: All right, we're going to get some...


BREWER: You been smoking something?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smoking -- let go of me, man.

BREWER: All right -- the other point is not get too close.

ALTSCHUL: Yes, not to get too close.

BREWER: Well, they can find it threatening, and so, he's laughing loud, but he can be...

ALTSCHUL: Pretty pissed, quickly.

BREWER: Yes. Right on time.

ALTSCHUL: Right, midnight, stroke of midnight.

BREWER: We'll sedate him, observe him while he's metabolizing whatever it is he's metabolizing, and we'll get a toxicology screen on him, so we can see exactly what it is.

ALTSCHUL: Did anybody ask him if he's been ...

BREWER: Well, I did, but he's not -- he's not...

ALTSCHUL: Wow, he's really going. Should just give him a shot.

(voice-over): This patient is receiving 7.5 milligrams of halgol (ph). Two milligrams would put a normal person to sleep.

(on camera): You got the call, or you just showed up?

MARK KELLER: Yes, we got the call. New Haven Police Department was at -- front of the Coliseum, he parked his car up in front of the Coliseum, whole odd behavior there...

ALTSCHUL: He was driving before...



BREWER: There's a percentage that's probably 5 to 10 percent that we see because they have really violent reactions, what's been known as a PCP rage, or illy rage.

In normal circumstances, some sensors in the muscle will tell your brain we're getting close to the breaking point here, better slow down. PCP interferes with that mechanism and lets your brain go beyond the point. And that's why this, you know, 130-pound wiry kid needs five, six, seven cops and ambulance people holding him down, because at that point in time, he's getting absolutely all of the strength out of his muscles that's possible.

Something like 5 percent of illy users will develop a persistent state that's similar to schizophrenia.

ALTSCHUL: Paranoid schizophrenia...

BREWER: Yes, exactly.

ALTSCHUL: Just sort of a permanent state.

BREWER: It becomes a permanent state, and that can happen even after just a couple of uses. So, it's for a lot of reasons, it's a bad drug.

ALTSCHUL: What happens -- what did -- do you know what -- do you know what it is you took?

OK, that's a little too creepy, I think. I'll -- OK, let's just -- don't know what to say. Maybe we'll wait for those sedatives to kick in a little bit.

(voice-over): When "Fried" concludes, boys are out of rehab.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome. Congratulations on a job well done.

ALTSCHUL: But no one said it would be easy.

(on camera): I'm looking at the wall here like, is that you?


ALTSCHUL: Oh, really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in court one day.


ALTSCHUL: We're on our way to meet up with Gene. He is graduating today from the children's center, the rehabilitation program that he's been in for 45 days. He's graduating, and tonight he's going home, back into the environment where he was previously using illy.

How are you doing? Good to see you. Congratulations.


ALTSCHUL; You're getting out.


ALTSCHUL: Are you psyched?


ALTSCHUL (voice-over): If Gene tests positive for drugs one more time, he could spend up to three years in a juvenile correctional facility.

ALTSCHUL (on camera): So, now what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to go home.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Gene lives in his stepfather's home, with his mother Lori (ph) and younger brother Anthony. Gene hasn't seen his father since he was 2 years old. Anthony has a different father; Lori (ph) divorced him, remarried, and is in the midst of another divorce.

(on camera): Do you feel different, you know, after 45 days, do you feel like you actually changed, and you've, you know, worked out a lot of things, and thought about things, and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It made me think about a lot of things. I don't know if I changed, but gave me the opportunity to change now.

ALTSCHUL: Do you feel like there are other student and other, you know, kids in your class who also have, you know, problems, do you think they need to deal, like that they're not dealing with?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, a lot of them do, but I don't think they realize it, because I didn't realize that until went to this rehab program, I didn't think I had a problem.

ALTSCHUL: Right. Why not? What did you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too involved in it, I didn't really think at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the signs were there, with the change of friends, the grades dropping, just was like what they tell you.

ALTSCHUL: There's nothing that you like don't -- at this point -- you don't talk about...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he told me -- he told me what drugs he's tried, and you know, and we did a lot of work in counseling, and you know, we're going to continue.

ALTSCHUL: That's hard work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It didn't happen overnight. It's not going to get fixed overnight, and it's, you know, a whole family thing, it's not just Gene. It's the whole unit.

ALTSCHUL: What do you think will be the hardest part for you, you know, because you know you have to stay clean at this point. What's going to be the most difficult?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably just staying away from the drugs -- all of them. I see them, that would probably be the most -- biggest trigger about it.

ALTSCHUL: Does the idea of him, you know, potentially getting in trouble again, I mean, is that a...



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he knows that -- what the consequences are going to be. So, hopefully that's going to be enough for him, you know, I hope.

ALTSCHUL: I'm looking at the wall here like, is that you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it was me.

ALTSCHUL: Oh, really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in the court one day, against the wall.

ALTSCHUL: Right. What were you mad about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just the court.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): Gene is part of a new market that's now being targeted by drug dealers. Law enforcement tells us that PCP, in its new form, illy, is spreading from the inner cities into more affluent suburban communities.

(on camera): What do you think about, like, you know, you're 15 now, by 18 what do you want to be doing? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Graduating high school, plan on going to college.

ALTSCHUL: I guess people have this misconception maybe that dust, or illy, or what, is sort of a ghetto drug, and that, you know, it's just kids like, you know, who are in the projects, or that, you know -- that's not the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think anyone who wants it could get it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and everyone like -- everyone knows about it. It's just when it's available -- get it.

ALTSCHUL (voice-over): We followed Gene to Walcott (ph) High, on his first day back from rehab.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome. Congratulations on a job well done.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All set, sure, really?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty good, how about you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He looks good, doesn't he?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look wonderful.





IRENE TUREK, PRINCIPAL: We had a lot of talks, didn't we?


TUREK: A lot of effort. You go forward, you go back, you go forward, you go back, but the one thing that I have to say to you, that I really respect you is that -- you, this time, you took responsibility to get yourself help.


TUREK: I just knew when the moment was right, he would do that, but you just weren't ready. So many times, you weren't ready, and you felt like this time you were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ready to change.

TUREK: That's good.

ALTSCHUL: Gene's old roommate, Kenny, lives 40 miles away in a depressed urban area of Bridgeport. Their economic situations are different, but their temptations are the same.

(on camera): How has stuff been for you the last couple of weeks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been rough, probably, but it's all right. It's fine, being at home, walking down my street, this (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ALTSCHUL: Good to be back with family?


ALTSCHUL: Do you remember the first day that you got back, was that...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the first day was -- it was fun for me, because, when I got home, two of my cousins, and we was chilling, whatever, he starting me -- started drinking a little tiny bit, doing everything that I would usually do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and they said, what are we doing from here, start smoking, and yeah.

ALTSCHUL: The first day back you smoked -- Kenny?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, but, I'm trying to quit. I don't know.

ALTSCHUL: When was the last time you did?


ALTSCHUL: Yesterday? You know, I'm really sorry to hear it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all right, though.

ALTSCHUL: Do most of your friends smoke -- so...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yeah, like most of them, like 99 percent of them smoke. So, I was out smoking yesterday -- oh God.

ALTSCHUL: Did you like it?



BROWN: Of the two men you just met, Kenny, the one who was smiling there at the end, is probably not smiling tonight. He's now serving four months in a juvenile correctional facility for violating his probation. And Gene, the young man riding the four-wheeler; Gene tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use, and was also expelled from his high school after getting into a fight with a teacher. Though he too violated his probation, the judge gave him another chance. But Gene turned 16 in September, and can now be tried as an adult if he gets into any more trouble.

And as for substance abuse programs and their success with adolescents, the news is not encouraging. One major study found that fewer than one in 10 teenagers stays clean after completing a recovery program, and more than eight out of 10 go back to regular drug use.

That's it for this edition of CNN PRESENTS. I'm Aaron Brown. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next week.


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