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Drug, 'Dipper' Ravishing DC Area

Published: Monday, March 17, 2003

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08

Stumbling, shaking uncontrolably and wide-eyed, they come in droves.

The fien for it, crave it and "really, really need it."

They're addicted to a drug called "dipper."

With a bit of the popular drug PCP, a little embalming fluid, and a dab of other harmful chemicals one can create dipper.

"This right here is $1200. This $1200 right here," said a dealer the fiends call "Unc" as he held up a small vile of clear fluid.

The bottle, in its entirety will be disposed of in less than five hours.

A bottle of dipper, half the size of a lipstick container, can cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000 and smells like fingernail polish remover.

Users on the other hand are charged $25 to $30 just to dip their cigarette or marijuana cigarette into the bottle.

Only the tip of the cigarette is dipped into the liquid. A dealer will then suck the end of the cigarette until the liquid penetrates the entire thing turning the paper transparent.

"This'll get a [person] [messed up]," said another dealer, street name "D".

Though assumed non addictive, emergency rooms throughout the District are seeing more an more abusers of the drug.

Doctors usually never know how long the effects may last whether it be a day, two years, or forever.

Many patients have psychiatric problems mainly because like embalming fluid, dipper burns up the person's brain cells.

Dr. N. Bernard Saylor is the attending physician for the emergency room at Howard University Hospital. Many users that seek his help as patients come in around special occasions, are Howard students, or are between the ages of 18 and 30.

"That in the past two years the emergency room has been presented with many cases of victims who have taken this drug."

When the patients come into the emergency room they all display very bizarre behavior such as feeling the need to remove their clothing and patients often do not know where they are, who they are, or how they got to the hospital.

Dr. Saylor has seen many incidents of people using Dipper, but two are memorable for him.

"One time the ambulance brought a guy into the emergency room, who paramedics found walking butt-naked down I-495. Then it was another time in which two Howard students were found in their dorm rooms butt-naked and high off of dipper."

Local police enforcement has recently been trying to crack down on the drug, its users and its distributers.

Being found with the drug or under its influence will get a person arrested.

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