When the drug of choice is a drug of confusion: Embalming fluid use in inner city Hartford, CT

Merrill Singer, Greg Mirhej, Susan Shaw, Hassan Saleheen, James Vivian, Erica Hastings, Lucy Rohena, De Shawn Jennings, Juhem Navarro, Claudia Santelices, Alan H.B. Wu, Andrew Smith, Alberto Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper examines the use of a new illicit drug-embalming fluid mixtures-in Hartford, CT based on a recent assessment of drug consumption in an outreach-recruited sample of 242 not-in-treatment active drug users. Sociodemographic, drug use, and health and social problems of drug users who do and do not use embalming fluid mixture are presented, revealing some notable differences between these two groups of street drug users. Despite regular consumption, we report that embalming fluid mixture users are often uncertain about what is in this new drug, despite experiencing often powerful effects. Urine toxicology findings from a subsample of individuals who used embalming fluid mixtures in the last 48 hours, reveal the frequent presence of phencyclidine (PCP) as well as other drugs. The public health implications of this new wave of PCP use are assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • Embalming fluid
  • Phencyclidine
  • Public health
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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