Increased synthetic K2 drug overdose cases are putting a strain on D.C. resources, according to the district officials.
Known as Spice, K2 is a dangerous synthetic drug often packaged as potpourri or incense. The drugs can be brought for as little as $2 per pack. Overdose signs include collapse, vomiting, unconsciousness and physical aggression. Smoking or ingesting K2 may lead to overdose or death.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said emergency responders have to address dozens of K2 overdoses daily. “It certainly provides a significant strain on our entire public safety system,” she said.
The overdose cases have seen a particular spike this month. About 200 people were found in D.C. overdosed on K2 within a week. Since July, more than 1,600 K2 overdoses have been reported.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said in recent K2 overdose cases people were found passed out and in a comatose state. “It’s creating a drain on Fire and EMS resources and police resources,” he said.
Earlier this week, an emergency legislation was introduced by the D.C. mayor which is expected to toughen the law against drug dealers.
“When people are bringing deadly drugs into our community, we need to be able to hold them accountable. As we continue working to get these drugs off our streets, we are asking the community to help us save lives by calling 911 if they see someone exhibiting signs of an overdose,” Bowser said.