"Folks who are using the most recent batch of K2 are exhibiting symptoms of being in a comatose state and passing out," said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. "It's creating a drain on Fire and EMS resources and police resources."
WASHINGTON — A spike in overdoses in D.C. linked to the dangerous street drug known as “K2” is draining critical District resources, officials said Wednesday.
“Our emergency responders continue to respond to dozens of K2 overdoses every day,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “It certainly provides a significant strain on our entire public safety system.”
Since mid-July, D.C. has seen more than 1,600 K2 overdoses, and the number of cases has skyrocketed this month.
“Folks who are using the most recent batch of K2 are exhibiting symptoms of being in a comatose state and passing out,” said D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham. “It’s creating a drain on Fire and EMS resources and police resources.”
Although commonly referred to as “synthetic cannabis” or “synthetic marijuana,” drugs known by names such as K2, “Spice” and “Scooby Snax” are very different from actual marijuana. They’re often comprised of various synthetic substances sprayed on dried plant material, and there is no way of knowing exactly what is in them.
“We need to get these deadly drugs off our streets,” said Bowser.
In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that the drugs were being mixed with chemicals used in rat poison.
The legislation would ban categories of chemical compounds, rather than the individual chemical compounds that can change.
“When people are bringing deadly drugs into our community, we need to be able to hold them accountable,” said Bowser. “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.”
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.