BARBERTON, Ohio -- Barberton police say an officer on routine patrol early Saturday encountered a 16-year-old boy standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue wearing nothing but a pair of pants. The officer stopped to see if something was wrong, and reported that the teenager seemed to be disoriented.
"Very talkative, incoherent, wasn't making any sense. (He) kept giving addresses where he thought that he lived when he didn’t actually live there," said Barberton Lieutenant Brian Jamison.The teen was eventually taken to a local fire station from where he was transported to a hospital.
About an hour and a half later police got another call about a teenager in a yard who seemed to be intoxicated.
"Talking with him and his parents and other kids, he had been at a house (the night before) and had taken 'moon pods'," said Jamison.
"Moon pods" are a slang name for the seed pods of the Jimson plant, a toxic flowering plant that goes by various names. Its seeds can be lethal if ingested in great enough quantity according to doctors at Akron Children's Hospital.
At the home where the teenagers were visiting their friends, five boys decided to try and experiment with the plant they knew could get them high after reading about it on the internet.
"They kind of had a competition of who could take more so they all just kept taking them and taking them," said Ashley Allison, who told Fox 8 News that she refused to join them.
"I was telling them to stop but they weren't listening, they didn't care," said Allison.
The teens were treated at Akron Children's Hospital, where Pediatric Toxicologist, Dr. Jim Besunder says the effects of the toxic seeds can last as long as 48 hours.
"It has an effect similar to hallucinogens. Some of the problem is that it has other effects that can affect your heart and give you a rapid heartbeat and sometimes you can develop life threatening types of irregular heart rhythms," said Dr. Besunder, warning that any experimentation by eating the seeds can have dangerous consequences.
"Ingesting any amount is potentially toxic and just by impairing your behavior, your thought process you aren’t going to be in control of yourself," added Dr. Besunder.
All of the teenagers who ate the seeds were said to be home from the hospital on Tuesday.
The plant was destroyed by the landlord of the property according to police. No charges were filed against the teenagers, but police and medical experts all warn against foolish experimentation with anything that is discussed on the internet.
"Don't trust the internet, things that you read on the internet are not always true." said Lt Jamison.