District Attorney

Posted on: July 10, 2017

Report: K2 to Blame for Weekend Overdose Spike in Lancaster County

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There was a spike in drug overdoses this past weekend – and opioids were not the primary culprit in most cases.

Lancaster EMS, Lancaster County’s busiest emergency services provider, reported treating and transporting 62 overdose patients between Friday morning and Sunday night at midnight.

C. Robert May, executive director of LEMSA, reported those patients were involved in 53 emergency-response calls. Some calls involved multiple patients.

May said the majority of the patients had used synthetic marijuana (K2).

Synthetic marijuana, an illegal substance, is in fact purely a manufactured chemical. Ingesting the substance can cause a person to hallucinate, and often times, act erratic and aggressive.

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force, a team of detectives which operates under District Attorney Craig Stedman, said prevalence of the substance spikes cyclical.

“While we are in the midst of a still-escalating opioid abuse epidemic, we must not forget the many other poisons being dealt and used in our communities,” District Attorney Stedman said Monday. “Perhaps most dangerous among those substances is K2 and other synthetic marijuana, which presents danger to the user, but also those who come in contact with that person.

“I have heard numerous stories from doctors, medics and police officers who encountered a very violent and erratic person under the influence of synthetic marijuana.”

Here is more information on synthetic marijuana: https://goo.gl/LKyt5Y

Lancaster EMS covers all or parts of most municipalities in Lancaster County, including Lancaster city.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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