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Synthetic Pot Overdoses Rocked Lancaster County For A Whole Weekend

In this age of the internet, you have probably heard of K2, what is otherwise known as synthetic pot, even if you have never touched it or seen it firsthand in your life. Many people have opted for this manmade substance over actual cannabis either because of the fact that it is fairly readily available or that it does not appear on many drug screenings, like those ordered by some workplaces prior to employment.

Over the course of three days, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania was rocked by 102 overdoses. All of them were related to the use of synthetic pot. Fortunately, none of these overdoses were fatal.

Synthetic pot, known by other names such as K2 and Spice, is a blend of plant matter, herbs and chemicals that are supposed to have similar psychoactive results as regular, time-honored pot.  But these K2 overdoses took county health and law enforcement officials completely by surprise over the span of those three days. C. Robert May of Lancaster Emergency Medical Services associates this spike in synthetic pot use to a lack of accessibility to heroin in Lancaster County.

“Heroin is normally the issue but in the last week there’s been an overdose of synthetic marijuana. The assumption is that heroin is not readily available, so people are turning to K2,” May said in an interview with CNN.

Those 102 overdoses were not the only synthetic pot ODs in Lancaster County. Over the span of seven days, between July 7th and July 14th, a total of 158 overdoses were treated in area hospitals. Some of these individuals were right back in the emergency room mere hours after being released for their first overdose. May recalls a patient who was seen nine times over a span of 24 hours, all relating to K2 overdoses.

Lancaster County, like many other areas in the United States, has been hit hard by heroin. An average of eight heroin overdoses occur per day within the reaches of this county, with the exception of the weekend that saw such a spike in synthetic pot overdoses.

Photo by jmd41280


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