In news emerging out of Irving, Texas this weekend, a 13-year-old girl overdosed on K2, a synthetic form of marijuana.
A family member found the teen having convulsions outside of her apartment Saturday night and the girl was sent to the hospital. Police learned from the unidentified teen that she used K2, MyFoxDFW.com reports.
WFFA 8 explains that Billie Huffman -- the girl's godmother -- believes she wouldn't be alive had she not found her when she did:
"If we hadn't come home when we did, we might have a dead child."
Authorities are trying to figure out how the girl got a hold of the K2 and who should be charged in connection to her overdose. She was transported to Children's Medical Center and released Sunday afternoon.
Huffman says the paramedic said her goddaughter's reaction was "one of the worst overdoses on K2 he ever saw."
K2 side effects include "agitation, threatening behavior and even hallucinations." Doctors warn that the drug is far more dangerous for teens and can lead to heart attacks.
Last week, federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials busted a major drug ring operation selling K2. The agency seized millions of dollars in cash and property in northern Texas in their "crackdown" on synthetic marijuana. The federal government took control of 11 Gas Pipe stores, claiming they were a source of K2. In addition to raiding the pipe stores, agents seized four homes, and two other properties located in the historic Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth
Investigators arrested and charged Lawrence Shahwan in the drug bust. Law enforcement officials say Shahwan was the leader of the drug trafficking ring.
According to the website DrugAbuse.gov, K2 falls under the category of "Spice":
"'Spice' refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as 'safe,' legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others — and labeled 'not for human consumption' — these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects."The term "synthetic marijuana" can be deceptive, according to the site. Users are led to believe that since "natural" is attributed to the substance, it isn't as dangerous.
News surrounding teen overdoses of K2 aren't seen often in the media, but the synthetic cannabinoid is known by a variety of other names; they include "Spice," "Black Mamba," "Fake Marijuana," "Sexy Monkey," and multiple others.
[Image via TexasTribune.org]