TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The Trinity Police Department has been battling an on-going drug issue, but they say they've seen a spike in the use of one chemical compound.
The use of the drug known as K-2 has landed several Trinity residents in the hospital. Within four hours, six ended up there after overdosing on the "synthetic marijuana.""They were lying on the ground, and a couple of them were having seizures," said Officer Travis Bryan of the Trinity P.D.
"You're trying to help them, but they might think you're some type of monster trying to kill them," Bryan said.
Combative, non-cooperative, non responsive, and hallucinating were some of the words to describe their states when admitted into the ETMC.
"It's a synthetic compound that they've put into I don't know what vegetation," Bryan said.
Two of them, Joe Nance and Tyler Dethloff, were arrested. Now Trinity Police warn against the synthetic compound's dangers.
"It's not FDA-approved, and it's causing people to have seizures and black out," Bryan said.
Kim Simmons, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council Director of Prevention, said those who use the drug are somewhat guinea pigs. K-2 is not tested, not consistent, and not regulated.
"People treat it as marijuana," Bryan said.
Simmons said the marketing and packaging of the drug is deceptive. Bryan said he agrees that the packaging doesn't make the intended use clear, but he does believe, "the true meaning of it from the get-go was to put it out there for people to smoke."
Bryan said he thinks some take the drug with hopes of getting a marijuana high with the ability to pass drug tests.
"Now they're starting to make drug tests that test for all these synthetic chemicals," Bryan said.
Simmons added that many deaths are being reported as first time use. A high on K-2 could be a user's last.
"Because the drug is not consistent as far as ingredients and potency, it affects everyone differently," Bryan said. "It's going to end up killing somebody and when it does, what are you going to say? 'I tried it because my friends were doing it.'"
The two men arrested were charged with public intoxication. Officer Bryan says it's a Class B misdemeanor to possess small amounts of the synthetic drug. It goes up from there.