Cities Across U.S. See Rise in Synthetic Marijuana Overdoses

Spice synthetic marijuana 8-5-15

Officials in cities across the United States are reporting a rise in overdoses related to synthetic marijuana, CNN reports. Police chiefs meeting in Washington this week said they need field tests to help them quickly determine whether suspects have taken the drug.

Synthetic marijuana, sold under names such as “K2,” “Spice” and “Scooby Snax,” is very different from marijuana, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It is made with dried herbs and spices that are sprayed with chemicals that induce a marijuana-type high when smoked. The drug is not tested for safety, so there is no way for a person to know what chemicals they are using.

Health effects can include severe agitation and anxiety; fast, racing heartbeat and high blood pressure; nausea and vomiting; muscle spasms, seizures, and tremors; intense hallucinations and psychotic episodes; and suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or actions.

From January 1 to August 2, 2015, poison control centers received calls about 5,008 exposures to synthetic marijuana, compared with 3,682 in all of last year.

According to a survey of 35 major city police departments, 30 percent have attributed some violent crimes to synthetic marijuana, the article notes. Overdoses in some cities are clustered in homeless populations.

On Tuesday, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton called the drug “weaponized marijuana,” and called it “a great and growing concern.”

The products are widely available, despite laws prohibiting them. With the passing of each regulation to control synthetic marijuana, drug manufacturers and suppliers are quickly changing the ingredients to new, non-controlled variations.

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    April 2, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    I was on this s**t for 5 years no serious problems till one day at work. Worst day of my life. Long story short got an ambulance ride to hospital. Was fine just dehydrated. Still smoked after that, but prob 2 years later or bout a month ago I QUIT SMOKING THE S**T. Best day of my life!! I’m free now!!! No more $200 a week on the s**t. It only took 1 or 2 bad nights of withdraw but soooo worth every minute to be sober and not worry if I have enough to last the day/week/month. After reading these stories I feel lucky to still be alive. Quit the s**t! Go through 1 bad night and it’s over for life. Also good old Mary Jane helped me out during the tough times

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    February 17, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    Synthetic Marijuana is a dangerous drug and should be more recognized as such in every social media/ Internet site. My brother in law just passed away Sunday from this stuff, he was 30 years old. He was a great man with 2 kids my sister is heartbroken. Like other users he would say” I know what my body can handle”. No! Not with this stuff not with any stuff it’s laced with so many different things and just like someone said previously every batch is different. Please anyone who reads this don’t do it. It’s not worth your life and the pain your loved ones will feel if you pass. R.I.P TONY we miss u so much. I’ll always remember the good times we had and I will talk about u often to your kids and all your nieces and nephews.

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