Synthetic marijuana overdoses flood Harrisburg Hospital

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Synthetic marijuana overdoses sent a “significant amount” of people to hospitals in Dauphin County over the weekend, according to officials.

After sending warnings on Friday, District Attorney Ed Marsico spoke out on the dangers once again.

Another 16 people were treated for synthetic marijuana overdoses within two days, according to officials with PinnacleHealth in Harrisburg.

On Friday, Marsico said about 30 people were treated with similar reactions to this cannabinoid-based “cocktail of chemicals.” Unlike natural marijuana, Marsico said brands such as “K2,” “Spice,” and “Kush” is often laced with unknown chemicals that cause violent reactions.

“The problem with these individuals is they are often violent,” Marsico said. “They present problems for hospital staff, to first responders. The affect this synthetic marijuana has on the individual leads to some violent outbursts.”

One source with ties to the hospital told ABC27 that nurses have been hurt by these outbursts, but PinnacleHealth officials said they could not confirm that information. PinnacleHealth did explain multiple beds were brought into the emergency room to deal with the increase of overdose patients.

Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick said there have been no deaths reported as of Monday afternoon. Lehigh County officials have reported 10 deaths in recent weeks due to similar overdoses.

Marisco, who held a news conference on Friday, said the weekend’s increase shows a stronger message must be sent to anyone who is tempted to try these drugs.

“To parents and to others, don’t use the synthetic marijuana,” Marsico said. “This is bad stuff. It has bad stuff in it that’s causing these reactions different from synthetic marijuana we’ve seen in the past.”

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