City sounds the alarm on synthetic marijuana
District officials are warning the public about the dangers of synthetic drugs known as K2 and Scooby Snax following a series of overdoses over the last month that have been linked to their use.
The advisory follows reports that at least seven people at the District’s largest homeless shelter overdosed on synthetic marijuana Friday. All of them were in serious condition but were expected to survive, D.C. fire department spokesman Timothy Wilson said.
In a public health advisory released Saturday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said her administration was committed to cracking down on the distribution and consumption of these drugs.
The advisory noted that there has been a dangerous spike in overdoses in the last month, including “nearly a dozen transports yesterday.”
“Synthetic drugs are illegal and dangerous,” Bowser said in the advisory. “These drug present a clear danger to the public.”
It also noted that it is likely some of the overdoses go unreported or untreated.
According to the advisory, synthetic marijuana, a potent and dangerous hallucinogen, is being sold at liquor stores and gas stations. Such products are commonly known as K2, Scooby Snax, Bizzaro or Spice. The dangers are particularly acute for young people.
Individuals who use synthetic drugs may experience anxiety, paranoia, irregular heartbeat, seizures and death.
If residents in the District are concerned about a person who maybe using synthetic marijuana, they should contact the Department of Behavioral Health’s 24-7 Access Help line at 1-888-793-4357. If a person encounters someone who may be overdosing on such drugs, they should call 911.
In addition, anyone with information about the illegal sale of these drugs is asked to call D.C. police at (202) 727-9099. Anonymous information may be submitted by sending a text message to 50411.