23 Victims of K2 Overdose in Just 24 Hours
Author: Justin Mckibben
The synthetic cannabinoid K2 has gained infamy over time, with distributers advertised it originally as a legal version of marijuana. In recent years it has been called by plenty of names, including:
- Fake Weed
- Scooby Snax
- Black Mamba
- Nice Guy
- Cloud 9
There are extensive lists of hundreds of street names for K2, any with that comes a variety of potentially deadly chemical mixes. Synthetic drugs of this kind are often altered in the shady labs they come from, all to avoid detection and “spice” things up. The drug is cheap, its contents are often unpredictable. The lie of being a “safe substitute” for marijuana is dangerous.
Over time there have been plenty of stories about the risks associated with synthetic drugs. Many have suffered from the effects, others have died. Now comes another incredibly troubling story.
About 35 residents in St. Louis overdosed on K2 last week. Disturbingly, 23 of those who experienced a K2 overdose were just in a 24-hour period on Tuesday.
K2 Overdose Wave Hits Homeless Shelter
In this recent report from St. Louis, the majority of the people who suffered a K2 overdose were homeless. A large group in the area appeared to all overdose in a very short time frame. According to St. Louis local news many of the victims were found near the New Life Evangelistic Center, a shelter in downtown St. Louis. The St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson was quoted as stating:
“People were standing and walking around like zombies. They didn’t know what they were doing or where they were at.”
According to Jenkerson, following the incidents on Tuesday, 11 more people experienced K2 overdose on Wednesday morning.
In addition to appearing disoriented, some people were having seizures, passing out. Others were reported to be moaning and asking for help. On Wednesday, police received two separate calls in under four hours to assist one man. This man told a reporter he had smoked K2. Reverend Larry Rice, who runs the shelter, stated:
“Somebody is preying on the most vulnerable people in society,”
The police were able to apprehend three people under suspicion of selling synthetic drugs that caused the wave of K2 overdose reports.
Shelter VS Synthetics
The New Life Evangelistic Center shelter has technically been illegally operating since it lost its occupancy permit in May of 2015. Residents in the community oppose the shelter. As a result, tensions between the homeless population and the local residents are already high. Therefore, this kind of attention did not work out well for the shelter. Following the K2 overdose outbreak the city ordered the shelter to either obtain a new permit or close.
One resident of the shelter is James Tyler Pennick, a 29-year-old Air Force veteran. When interviewed Pennick said residents use K2 because it allows them to pass court-ordered drug screenings, adding:
“The drug is everywhere,”
Pennick himself was recently kicked out of rehab. He explained he had tried the drug K2 once, but that the effects were disastrous. Given this recent turn of events, that is probably a bit of an understatement. Hopefully the shelter is able to meet the requirements and continue to help the homeless. After all, this incident should be a clear indication that these people desperately need that help.
It is tragic that this especially bad batch of synthetic drugs hit a community already downtrodden so harshly. However, it is important to remember that synthetic drugs are dangerous to everyone. With synthetics like K2 anyone can be given a potentially lethal blend of unregulated and unpredictable chemicals. K2 and other synthetics should definitely be taken seriously, and for those who want help there is a way out.
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