Earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, almost 120 people were admitted to emergency rooms for an overdose of K2, a type of synthetic marijuana (Winograd, 2014). The majority of cases occurred within a forty-eight hour period.
Dr. James d’Etienne, who works at Baylor Medical Center where many of the emergency room visits took place, stated that many users “came in with similar symptoms of psychosis, altered mental status, abnormal behavior—ranged from very sedated to an agitated state” (Lopez, 2014). According to a local Texas news report, patients consisted of teenagers up to adults in their mid-fifties, some of whom had to be restrained so they wouldn’t harm themselves or others.
Synthetic marijuana—also called K2, Spice, and Gorilla Dro Po-Po—are mainly herbs that are sprayed with chemicals that work on the same brain receptors as the active components in marijuana. Most of these synthetic products have more intense effects and lack the calming agents naturally found in marijuana (Kroll, 2014).
There were no deaths and all of the patients admitted to Dallas emergency rooms were successfully treated.
Kroll, D. (2014). Cluster of Texas ER visits from K2 synthetic marijuana. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2014/05/04/rash-of-dallas-and-austin-er-visits-from-k2spice-synthetic-marijuana/
Lopez, R. (2014). More than thirty overdose on synthetic marijuana in a day in Dallas. Retrieved from http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/More-than-30-overdose-on-synthetic-marijuana-in-a-day-in-Dallas-257765821.html
Winograd, D. (2014). Nearly 120 people overdose on synthetic marijuana in five-day period. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/89835/synthetic-marijuana-overdoses-k2/