Spice Overdose Outbreak in DC May Have Killed Four

Spice overdoses in Washington D.C.

It doesn’t seem like ‘Spice’ is ever really going to go away. It’s one of those weird drugs that came out a while back, hurt a bunch of people, and we don’t seem to be able to fully get rid of it. Spice was one of the first modern, mainstream synthetic drugs that hit the U.S. Originally thought of as “synthetic weed,” Spice was a way of being able to get high while not having to worry about failing a drug test. It was sold at gas stations and convenience stores all over until the DEA decided to ban it. To make it legal again, chemists altered the chemical structure of the drug to something that wasn’t banned. And then that would get banned and the chemical would be changed again. This went on and on to the point where we don’t really even know what Spice is anymore. And it’s no longer widely available like it was back in the day, but you can definitely still get your hands on it. The only time we seem to hear about the strange substance is when bad batches of it hit city streets causing major psychosis, overdose, and death.

Last week, in Washington, D.C., Spice caused nearly 140 overdoses and possibly even 4 deaths. Officials and first responders are calling it “bad K2,” causing users to “drop like flies” in various parts of the city. A local firefighter likened the situation to a horror film, describing adversely affected users to be in a “zombie-like” state. Apparently, a lot of the overdoses happened near a big homeless shelter that so happens to be near police headquarters.

D.C. Fire and EMS Chief, Gregory Dean said, “You will see people that are unconscious, people that are vomiting, people that are collapsing or maybe being overly aggressive – those are signs that they may be impacted or under the influence.”

In response to this event, the city issued an “Emergency Alert,” giving the public vital information about Spice and resources to get help for addiction.

Spice is pretty much illegal nationwide at this point. I don’t think there’s any versions of it that are considered legal, and for good reason. This drug is so sketchy based mostly on the fact that it’s literally a completely unknown and untested substance that’s synthetically created in labs overseas. If you use it, I feel like it’s a 50/50 shot on whether or not you’re going to lose your mind, hurt yourself, or someone else. Aside from causing disturbing hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, and confusion, Spice can kill you.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

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Peggy Cote, RN

Peggy Cote is a registered nurse with over 40 years of experience in the medical and addiction field. Her practice has also focused on holistic and naturopathic healthcare, looking toward natural solutions first before allopathic interventions. Peggy has devoted her career to helping people better themselves, their health, and their lives. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn.