The ongoing bout against synthetic drugs doesn’t seem to be budging anytime soon, according to a recent report from Texas.
The Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service said that 277 cases of synthetic marijuana intoxication were reported by EMS centers in Austin. Travis County EMS captain Rick Rutledge said that the use of synthetic cannabis products such as Spice and K2 triggered various physiological reactions in reported cases in the past, which include high heart rate and blood pressure, pupil dilation, panic attacks and seizures. However, recent cases were reported to exhibit the exact reverse. “After May 29 for awhile we had the opposite effect… decreased heart rate and blood pressure, comatose and a difficulty waking up,” Rutledge said in a news report. The EMS chief attributes this change in symptoms to alterations in the chemical composition of the synthetic marijuana products.
Austin Police Department Public Information Office spokesperson Veneza Bremner said that the reason behind the spike in use of synthetic pot is the lack of restriction or regulation within the city. “Currently, it is not illegal to possess or use (synthetic marijuana),” said Bremner. This will change come September, when Senate Bill 172 — to categorize synthetic marijuana under the Texas Controlled Substance Act — gets enacted.