‘Wasping’: New battleground opens in drug fight

Perhaps “wasping” has come to our area already. If not, it probably will arrive soon.

Sadly, producers of illicit drugs seem to be the most inventive people on the planet.

Progress in curbing abuse of opioids has been accompanied by an increase in overdoses from methamphetamines. But the drug can be somewhat difficult, even dangerous, to manufacture. Curbs on accessibility to legitimate medicines often used as feedstocks have helped.

Now, a cheaper, easier alternative has surfaced. It seems that the sprays many homeowners have on hand to kill wasps can be used to make an amphetamine-like drug.

Its use can have dangerous side-effects and, after a few episodes, can be deadly. Boone County authorities reported three “wasping” overdoses last week. Reportedly, the practice originated in Ohio and has spread to several states.

So, yes, “wasping” probably will make it to our area. By the way, before you pick up the phone to chastise us for giving drug abusers new ideas, do an internet search on “wasping.” The word had spread long before this editorial was written.

Getting one step ahead of the drug abuse culture sometimes seems impossible. The relentless, ever-changing nature of the problem lends credence to the idea that it is, in fact, a symptom of a larger problem. A massive, societal, cultural, economic approach must be applied to the hopelessness and fatalism that is feeding this monster.

That sounds just about impossible, doesn’t it? Somehow, we have to find a way.