D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, in a recently issued statement, has warned the District residents that a “potentially dangerous” batch of K2, a synthetic drug, has hit the D.C. streets.
“Also known as ‘Spice,’ K2 is a horrifying drug mixed with unknown substances that cause vomiting, organ damage, and convulsions,” Bowser said in a tweet. “If you see someone experiencing an overdose, please call 911.”
K2 is a dangerous synthetic drug that is often packaged as potpourri or incense. The drug is sold for as cheap as $2 per pack. The drug overdose can be dangerous and require hospitalization, and even lead to death. Overdose signs for the drug include collapse, vomiting, unconsciousness and physical aggression. Smoking or ingesting K2 may lead to overdose or death.
In September, Bowser had also warned against the fatal drug by putting out an alert for the District residents against its use. Last year, there was a spike in overdose cases, as about 200 people were found overdosed on K2 in D.C. within just a week. Approximately 600 overdose victims were treated in July 2016 alone. Since July last year, over 1,600 K2 overdoses have been reported in the District.
District officials have said in the past that increased K2 overdose cases also put a strain on D.C. resources. Bowser said that emergency responders have to address dozens of K2 overdoses daily, last September. “It certainly provides a significant strain on our entire public safety system,” the mayor said.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham had also said that K2 overdose cases are creating a drain on Fire and EMS resources, and police resources. Dr. Jenifer Smith, the director of the city’s Department of Forensic Sciences, said K2 drugs are “all very, extremely dangerous.”
K2 is chemically different from marijuana but more dangerous, as it may lead to fatal overdoses, and hospitalization is required even in cases that are not fatal.