ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s not just the homeless suffering from a string of overdoses in downtown St. Louis.
Director Dr. Lori Byrne of SLU Care’s Emergency Department at SSM Health SLU Hospital says the hospital has seen a big increase in the number of synthetic marijuana overdose cases coming into the ER in the past month — and up to 20 a day this week.
Byrne says many overdose victims believe synthetic marijuana, better known as K-2, is fake marijuana — but it isn’t. Synthetic marijuana is much more powerful and dangerous than regular marijuana.
Side effects of ingesting K-2 include neurologic problems such as seizures, as well as kidney failure and heart issues.
A “multitude of symptoms” are possible, Byrne says, “in addition to very aggressive or violent behavior, which puts my staff at risk.”
Her advice? “Stay away from it; it is not safe.”
“Even though marijuana has its own problems, this stuff is more potent and it’s more severe, with a lot more … potential medical complications,” Byrne says.
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