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National Drug Intelligence Center Product No. 2004-L0559-009
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Background photo © John Foxx Images:
Cover photo: Maine Drug Enforcement Agency
Printable brochure (111 KB pdf)
Questions and Answers
- What is fry?
- What are the risks?
- What are some other names for fry?
- Is fry illegal?
National Drug Intelligence Center
a component of the
U.S. Department of Justice.
What is fry?
Fry is a street term for marijuana or tobacco cigarettes that are dipped in PCP (phencyclidine) and/or embalming fluid, and then dried.
PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but its use for humans was discontinued because it caused patients to become agitated, delusional, and irrational. Today individuals abuse PCP because of the mind-altering, hallucinogenic effects it produces.
Embalming fluid is a compound of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol (ethyl alcohol), and other solvents. Embalming fluid reportedly produces a hallucinogenic effect and causes the cigarette to burn more slowly, potentially resulting in a prolonged high.
Marijuana is the mind-altering substance produced from a plant with the scientific name Cannabis stiva. The drug is used because its primary active chemical--tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)--may induce relaxation and heighten the senses.
What are the risks?
Abusers are often unaware that fry may contain PCP. PCP is an addictive drug; its use often results in psychological dependence, craving, and compulsive PCP-seeking behaviors. PCP produces unpleasant psychological effects, and users often become violent or suicidal. PCP poses particular risks for young people--even moderate use of the drug can negatively affect the hormones associated with normal growth and development. PCP use can also impede the learning process in teenagers. High doses of PCP can cause seizures, coma, and even death (often as a consequence of accidental injury or suicide while under the drug's effects). At high doses, PCP's effects may resemble the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including delusions and paranoia. Long-term use of PCP can lead to memory loss, difficulty with speech or thought, depression, and weight loss. These problems can persist for up to a year after an individual has stopped using PCP.
Effects from exposure to embalming fluid include bronchitis, body tissue destruction, brain damage, lung damage, impaired coordination, and inflammation and sores in the throat, nose, and esophagus. Embalming fluid is extremely carcinogenic. Because cigarettes soaked with embalming fluid tend to burn more slowly, users may experience increased negative side effects.
Even at low doses marijuana impairs attention and coordination and affects the way the mind processes information. Because of these effects, marijuana use has contributed to automobile, household, and occupational accidents, resulting in harm to the user and to others. High doses of marijuana may result in image distortion, loss of personal identity, and hallucinations. The abuse of marijuana also can cause serious physical and mental problems including frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning ability, increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. Individuals who regularly abuse tobacco or marijuana may experience cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis, and frequent chest colds. Marijuana smokers increase their risk of cancer of the head, neck, lungs, and respiratory tract due to the toxins and carcinogens contained in the drug.
What are some other names for fry?
Fry also is called:
Cigars dipped in embalming fluid are called smurfs, and the term water often refers to marijuana mixed with another substance--such as PCP--in a cigar.
Is fry illegal?
Yes, fry is illegal because both of its principal ingredients, marijuana and PCP, are illegal. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs, which include heroin and LSD, have a high potential for abuse and serve no legitimate medical purpose in the United States. PCP is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and methamphetamine, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Other products of interest:
Check out Fast Facts on:
- Crack cocaine
- Crystal methamphetamine
- Drug abuse and mental illness
- Drug-facilitated sexual assault
- Drug paraphernalia
- Drugs and gangs
- Drugs and the Internet
- GHB and analogs
- Meth lab ID and hazards
- Powdered cocaine
- Prescription drugs
- Salvia divinorum
- Teens and drugs
- Triple C
Also available from NDIC:
- Huffing--The Abuse of Inhalants
- Prescription Drug Abuse and Youth
- Drugs, Youth, and the Internet
For more information on illicit drugs check out our web site at: www.usdoj.gov/ndic. Call 814-532-4541 to request NDIC products.
National Drug Intelligence CenterNDIC Washington Liaison Office
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901-1622
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
NDIC publications are available on the following web sites:ADNET: http://ndicosa
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