An Essex County store was raided by police last week on Thursday and resulted in “Catnip Cocktail” bottles being seized after a string of cases that were reported by people who got high off the drug used to sedate cats.
According to the police report, the bust took place at Nutrition Zone on Route 46 in Fairfield led to the arrest of John Sirico, who had been peddling the drug meant for cats to humans. The report also claims that police confiscated 61 bottles of the Catnip Cocktail, 29 bottles of human growth hormone, drug mixing components, including seven highly dangerous handguns and rifle magazines.
“It seems quite suspicious to me that an individual looking for something to sedate a cat with would come to a Nutrition Zone and not a veterinarian, to purchase a product that wasn’t even advertised or on display for the public to see,” Fairfield police Chief Anthony G. Manna announced in a statement.
Authorities in Essex County township said that they first started receiving 911 calls due to people abusing the cat drug in July 2018 when officers were called to a man who was dancing uncontrollably, yelling and “acting abnormally” outside a barbershop located in the same strip mall as the Nutrition Zone.
“When officers found the individual involved, he was allegedly having a variety of mood swings to including being very friendly one moment, then being confused and angry the next,” the chief said.
Authorities noted that the officers found six full bottles of the so-called Catnip Cocktail, along with the receipts for the substance from the Nutrition Zone.
Another report stated that police stopped a car reportedly driving erratically o Route 46 and found the driver, thoroughly “confused and unaware of his surroundings.” They discovered the same catnip bottles in the car; the man was charged with a DUI and sent to a nearby hospital.
Additionally, last week police had to administer Narcan the opioid-antidote to revive an unresponsive man outside a gym who was also found with the catnip bottles.
Even though the growing drug has adopted the name of Catnip Cocktail do not be fooled, it is not the plant that is commonly grown for cats. Although when humans metabolize the drug is starting to affect the user just like GHB.
“This is a hazardous product, and it appears its improper use is on the rise,” Manna said. “In executing today’s search warrant, the Fairfield Police Department has sent a clear message that we will do whatever we can to assure that Catnip Cocktail does not become the next drug fad,” he added.
The suspect has been transferred to the Essex County Jail ahead of the court hearing; he was listed as the store manager of the Nutrition Zone.