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UPDATE: 100+ Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in Texas in 5 Days

pt_1543_1964_oK2 is a synthetic marijuana that is often sold as herbal incense or potpourri. It contains man-made chemicals that claim to mimic the primary active ingredient in cannabis.

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.

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Officials: 17 Treated after Overdosing on Synthetic Marijuana in Downtown Austin

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For the Austin American Statesman, Philip Jankowski reports: EMS officials have treated two more people who suffered from seizures brought on by smoking a synthetic marijuana commonly known as “K2.”

As of 3 p.m., Austin-Travis County EMS had treated 17 people in the past 55 hours for health issues related to the use of the drug. Some had seizures while others lost consciousness. Many became disoriented, and EMS said some became violent.

All incidents have been centralized around Downtown Austin. The most recent incident occurred at 8:35 a.m. Friday on East Seventh Street near San Jacinto Boulevard, EMS and police said.

Austin police said they increased patrols in the downtown area and announced that they had made narcotics arrests in Downtown Austin that caused a disruption to the sale of K2 there. Officers arrested several people on drug possession charges and warrants, many of whom were in possession of suspected synthetic marijuana, officials said. Those suspects were not identified Friday, and the suspected drugs were being tested, police said. Read the rest of this entry »