Drug group warns of morning glory seed use
Those morning glory seeds in your teenager's room might not be a sign of spring, but of drug abuse.
Last week, the Ohio Resource Network for Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities sent an alert to 2,000 school, health and youth workers warning that teens were reportedly eating the seeds for an LSD-like high.
Spokesman Eric Hall said the Clifton-based organization issued the alert after receiving calls from northern Ohio parents and school officials noting the activity."Kids can get so creative, whether it's chewing seeds like this or using an inhalant. There is so much out there," Hall said.
Hall said there was no indication of such activity in Greater Cincinnati, but the alert will warn parents of a potential danger they were likely unaware of.
"It's not just cocaine or marijuana you have to worry about," he said.
Dr. Loretta Novice, grant project director of the Northeast Community Challenge Coalition, which combats alcohol and drug abuse, said she didn't know of any statistics on the prevalence of teens eating the seeds to get high.
The little brown or black flower seeds of several varieties of morning glory contain a naturally occurring substance closely related to the hallucinogen LSD.
Although purchasing the seeds is legal, extracting and possessing the active ingredient, lysergic acid amide, is illegal.
Chewing the seeds can produce a hallucinogenic effect that is 5 percent to 10 percent as potent as LSD, according to the alert.
The most common active seed varieties are Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates and Flying Saucers. A pack of seeds can be bought for less than $2.
To prevent consumption, some are treated with chemicals that cause users to become ill if they ingest them. A high can be produced from 50 seeds or more.
The effects can last six to 10 hours. Nausea is a common side effect.
Eating the seeds can cause liver or neurological damage.
The Ohio Resource Network is asking the alert be distributed to local nurseries and flower seed outlets.
By Feoshia Henderson