Arkansas ER’s Seeing More People With Synthetic Marijuana Side Effects


BENTONVILLE, Ark. — While Arkansas bans another form of synthetic marijuana, called “XLR11,” ER doctors say it’s not slowing users down.

It’s a little package that packs a big punch.

“People are seeing things, they’re hearing things, they want to kill themselves, they want to kill other people. It’s just really messed up,” says Dr. Jim Holden, who works in the emergency room at Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville.

Inside local ER’s, doctors find themselves treating the side effects of synthetic marijuana.

“We’ve seen a big increase over the past few years of young people and even older people with problems associated with K2 and Spice.”

But manufacturers keep changing the chemical compositions as fast as legislation is outlawing the substances.

“It’s easy to get and a lot of young people are using that. They don’t have to go out and find a dealer to buy marijuana from, they can just go to the convenience store and find someone to sell them this. Physically it’s a lot more dangerous than marijuana, I mean you can use it one time and you can die from it,” says Dr. Holden.

And it may be even more dangerous, just because it seems so innocent.

“People don’t really understand what it is the synthetic marijuana acts on the same receptors that marijuana does, but it acts in a totally different way.”

It’s different enough, to be deadly

“It can be life threatening. We’ve seen several episodes where people have died from using K2 and Spice.”

Which makes you wonder, why do people even mess with such a dangerous substance?

“We ask that all the time but its the same with any kind of drug abuse, methamphetamine alcohol abuse, it’s easy to get addicted to these drugs,” says Holden.

And while the law tries to keep up, the doctors in this ER hope people will take this little packet more seriously.

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