KARE 11: MINNEAPOLIS – Seven people have been arrested and face charges in connection with an explosion of October overdoses blamed on the synthetic marijuana product commonly known as K2.
Minneapolis Police spokesperson officer Cory Schmidt confirmed the arrests, and said a press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. to talk about the case, which he says involves hundreds of overdoses.
KARE 11 first reported the situation on October 5 after paramedics had to rush to save the lives of three dozen people, all of whom had overdosed on the synthetic product, within a 24-hour period. “This is the biggest uptick I’ve seen and the biggest volume we’ve seen in recent memory,” said HCMC toxicoogist Dr. Ann Arens at the time, and the problem kept getting bigger as the month continued.
The product, also known as spice, can lead to paranoia, hallucinations and violent behavior. It can also have serious physical repercussions.
“So these drugs act in the same part of the brain marijuana does but the effects are completely different,” Arens said. “Some of the problems that we see people are described to have heart attacks, people have been described to be so agitated they need medication to help them be more sedate, people have stopped breathing and need breathing tubes to breathe for them, kidney failure.”