What to Know
A Pennsylvania man was arrested after detectives found 61 bottles of “Catnip Cocktail” inside his supplement store
Officers found the bottles while carrying out a search warrant at a Nutrition Zone in Fairfield, New Jersey
Catnip Cocktail is "not for human consumption," but if ingested "metabolizes and becomes substantially similar to [GHB]," police said
A Pennsylvania man was arrested after detectives found 61 bottles of “Catnip Cocktail” inside his supplement store — and police say misuse of the “dangerous” product is on the rise.
Officers carrying out a search warrant at a Nutrition Zone on Route 46 West in Fairfield, New Jersey on Thursday found 61 bottles of Catnip Cocktail inside the store, along with 29 bottles of Human Growth Hormone, 20 bottles of a mixing agent, 13 bottles of Prohormones and seven “high capacity handgun and rifle magazines” the Fairfield Police Department said.
John Sirico, 48, of Tafton, Pennsylvania was arrested after the search, police said. It wasn’t immediately clear what his position at the store was.
“Catnip Cocktail is not for human consumption but if ingested into the human body, it metabolizes and becomes substantially similar to Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid, commonly known as GHB,” the department said.
The Drug Enforcement Administration doesn’t consider Catnip Cocktail a “controlled dangerous substance,” but it is a “scheduled drug” in New Jersey, according to the department.
“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,” Chief Anthony Manna said in a statement.
“This is a very dangerous product and it appears its improper use is on the rise,” he went on to say, adding that the department didn't want Catnip Cocktail to become "the next drug fad."
Fairfield police got their first glimpse into the world of Catnip Cocktail misuse this past July, when a caller reported a person “dancing, yelling and generally acting abnormally” in front of a hair salon not far from the Nutrition Zone.
The person was having mood swings that made him “very friendly one moment” and “confused and angry the next,” police said.
Officers found six bottles of Catnip Cocktail on him and discovered he’d purchased them at the Nutrition Zone.
On Nov. 1 of last year, meanwhile, a caller reported someone driving erratically on Route 46. When officers pulled the driver over, he was “acting irrationally, was extremely confused and unaware of his surroundings,” according to police.
Police found several bottles of Catnip Cocktail in his car. He was charged with driving under the influence and hospitalized, police said.
And on Feb. 26, Fairfield police responded to Retro Fitness on Route 46 East after a caller reported an unresponsive male. When they arrived, they revived the person with Narcan, the department said.
The person had a bottle of Catnip Cocktail on him, according to police.
Sirico has been charged with three counts of third-degree possession of a scheduled I drug, two counts of second-degree possession with the intent to distribute, one count of third-degree possession with the intent to distribute, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of possession of hypodermic syringes and seven counts of fourth-degree possession of high capacity magazines, police said.
His attorney information wasn’t immediately available.