Residents in a community in Florida have been puzzled by what locals call ‘The Walking Dead’ epidemic evidenced by an increase in the reported cases of drug overdose due to synthetic marijuana or spice.
Data from police authorities in Pinellas County, FL show that a numerous cases of drug overdose were caused by still unknown type of spice or synthetic cannabinoid. Authorities are still conducting thorough investigation whether illicit drugs, such as marijuana, caused the reported overdose.
Individuals are roaming around the county selling the spice in small cigarettes for as low as one dollar mostly to homeless people. The county’s law-enforcement unit is currently doing the rounds to put an end to the proliferation of the spice. “It’s synthetic. It’s man made and it’s just chemicals. You don’t know what you’re putting in your body and you don’t know how you’re going to react,” St. Pete Police District’s Yolanda Fernandez was quoted as saying by the as reported by the ABC Action News.
Among the documented side effects of the unknown spice include blackout, seizures, and nausea or vomiting. Four individuals have so far been arrested in relation to this outbreak of illicit drug, which composition remained unknown to the authorities. Several reports of overdose of similar nature have also been reported in Tampa Bay area, the report adds.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which cites reports from the National Poison Data System, adverse effects associated with the use of synthetic marijuana in the country has increased from 349 cases in January 2015 to 1,501 in April the same year – that’s 330 percent increase in a span of three years.
The CDC added that synthetic cannabinoid is any psychoactive chemical or anything that contains its main component that is sprayed onto a plant. Among the most common variations of this synthetic cannabinoid that are widely sold on the street include synthetic marijuana, spice, black mamba, k2, and crazy clown, among others.