Roofie-like ‘Catnip Cocktail’ seized at NJ vitamin shop, cops say
FAIRFIELD — Police say they seized 61 bottles of a product called “Catnip Cocktail” and other items from the Nutrition Zone store, along with seven handguns and rifle magazines.
The store was under investigation after several instances of human use of the solution, which is used to sedate cats, police said. It makes humans who take the substance high and act strangely with mood swings, according to police.
A website for Catnip Cocktail promotes it as an anxiety relief supplement for cats and dogs. The site lists the formula for the cocktail as well.
When used by humans, the "cocktail" metabolizes into a psychoactive drug similar to Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid, commonly known as the date rape drug GHB, police said. Catnip itself doesn't cause a high, but can make people feel ill, Popular Science reports.
Fairfield police said they began investigating use of the substance by humans in July when they responded to a call about a person "dancing, yelling and generally acting abnormally" in the parking lot of the Route 46 shopping center, where the Nutrition Zone is located. The person had six bottles of the product and a receipt showing they had been purchased at the Nutrition Zone, police said.
A person driving erratically on Route 46 in November was found with he product. Police used the Narcan brand of naloxone in February to revive a person found passed out at another shopping center, police said.
John Sirico,48, of Tafton, Pennsylvania was arrested at the store on Thursday after the execution of a search warrant found 29 bottles of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), 20 bottles of a mixing agent and 13 bottles of prohormones along with the Catnip Cocktail, police said. Officers also found seven high-capacity handgun and rifle magazines, police said.
Sicico was charged with three counts of third-degree possession of a schedule 1 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 4th degree possession of high capacity magazines.
“This is a very dangerous product and it appears its improper use is on the rise. 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," police chief Anthony Manna said in a statement.
Sicicio is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing in Essex County Superior Court.
Catnip Cocktail warns on its site its product is not meant for human use, and that anyone mentioning a use that violates its terms of sale will have his or her order cancelled.
More from New Jersey 101.5