Nearly 120 statewide overdose on synthetic marijuana

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by CARLA WADE / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 5:26 PM

DALLAS — In a span of just five days, almost 120 people in Dallas and Austin overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

Police sources confirmed to News 8 that the overdoses in both cities are likely related, and the drug originated with a Dallas supplier.

Stacey Davis, director of prevention programs for the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Dallas, said while K2 use is not the rise, users jump on new trends for suppliers or new batches.

“What ends up happening is the media or the community doesn’t catch wind of it until, unfortunately, when something bad happens,” Davis said.

Users smoke K2, and while it's supposed to mimic marijuana, it can have wide-ranging effects on the body. The patients in Dallas were so sick they had to be sedated.

Toxicology tests will tell for sure if all the overdoses came from the same batch. Police are also investigating whether the K2 was laced with another drug.

K2 is difficult to regulate because manufacturers switch up the ingredients frequently.

“The compound is changed,” Davis said. “And it’s not illegal, because they have not banned that compilation of the drug.”

These changes not only make K2 easier to get, but often make it more addictive and deadly, in some cases.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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