Police: Bad batch of spice causing spike in overdoses

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne police officers and medics have seen a spike in violent drug overdoses within the past few weeks, in part because of the spread of a bad batch of synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice.”

FWPD Vice and Narcotics Captain Kevin Hunter talked with NewsChannel 15 about the spice problem Friday after a week of several visible drug busts and spice overdoses in the city.

At one point, Hunter said more than 20 people were treated for overdoses in a 24-hour period. Police also saw a possible record-high amount of overdoses in July with more than 150 incidents, many spice-related.

The most recent bust where spice was found, happened early Friday morning in the 2300 block of Hogland Ave.

Two other busts came earlier in the week also connected to the spice investigation.

“We’re still working on it,” Hunter said about the raids. “We’re still investigating this issue and we won’t stop until we’re done.”

Spice has been a tough issue for police departments across the country as the ingredients constantly change.

“We’ve heard that they’ve been mixing antifreeze or transmission fluid or bug spray with the spice that’s causing these adverse reactions,” Hunter said about the synthetic marijuana that’s made its way into hands of people in Fort Wayne this summer.

He says police believe many overdoses are connected to the same spice because of the similar reactions which include loss of consciousness, foaming at the mouth, vomiting and seizure-like behavior.

Many agencies across the Summit City are seeing effects from people consuming spice. Hunter talked with the board of health earlier in the week about the issue.

Many people who turn to spice are looking for a similar high as marijuana. Police stress that’s not the reaction people are getting. The problem batch of spice has been known to cause permanent mental damage in addition to the physical toll overdoses leave behind.

“Even though that’s what it’s called.. synthetic marijuana, it’s nothing like marijuana,” Hunter added.