Understanding the dangers of synthetic marijuana

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – All is quiet at South Central EMS headquarters, but when they are on scene for a synthetic marijuana call, it can turn into chaos.

Jason Campbell from South Central EMS says “anytime we respond regardless if it’s synthetic marijuana or heroin overdose there is a high possibility of violence coming from the patient.”

Campbell says South Central personnel have been in harm’s way. “It depends on what it is laced with. We have seen what we call Hulk Hogan strength when they become very violent and very strong.”

Troy Waltz says, “K2 or spice can often make people hallucinate or cause acute psychosis.” Waltz is a drug counselor and program supervisor for New Insights II in Lemoyne. He says, “the experience is much more intense much more great.”

Waltz can identify with those he is helping. “I am living proof of that because I have been in recovery for several years myself.”

Waltz understands how drugs can be addictive. He wins his fight against alcohol on a daily basis. He says synthetic drugs are no different and those who use them are usually between the ages of 19 to 25.

“I can see their life change. I have seen clients go back to school. I have seen clients get promoted at their job and seen them reconnect with their families and it’s a beautiful thing when it happens.”

Waltz says it’s important to seek help and if you know someone who is struggling, call their county alcohol and drug services for information.

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