Cornwall Ontario — Several teens in Eastern Ontario were hospitalized after ingesting Jimson Weed or Devil’s Seed (as it is referred to locally).
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is issuing a community safety alert to warn residents of this deadly plant. “Young people are not aware of the serious risk they’re taking. Some of them may think of Jimson Weed as a substitute for other drugs. Unfortunately, this could cost them their lives”, says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health of the EOHU.
Jimson Weed attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms usually occur within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion and may continue for 24 to 48 hours or even longer. High fever, racing heart rate, blurry vision, hallucinations and delusions are common effects. More severely, Jimson Weed can also cause seizures, comas and even result in death.
A plant that grows wild and locally, Jimson Weed is a smelly plant with pointed green leaves. It sprouts trumpet-shaped white or purple flowers, as well as a prickly pod filled with dozens of seeds. All parts of the plant are poisonous and contain a powerful hypnotic sedative as well as a high level of nitrate.
Parents and caregivers are urged to speak with their children regarding the dangers posed by Jimson Weed in order to prevent any further victims. For more information, please contact the Addiction Services of the Cornwall Community Hospital at 613-936-9236 or toll free at 1 800 272-1937 or Addiction Services of Prescott-Russell at 1 855 624-1415.