SKID ROW, LOS ANGELES (KABC) —
Paramedics rushed to Skid Row after 18 people appeared to have overdosed on a drug presumed to be spice, or synthetic marijuana, fire officials said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the area of 5th and San Pedro streets at about 10:30 a.m.
Officials said 18 people were evaluated and 14 of those were taken to the hospital.
The victims were all suffering from similar symptoms, according to officials, which included altered mental status, combative behavior, and in some cases, seizures.
“We don’t have toxicological confirmation, but it’s presumably spice, which is a synthetic type of cannabis or marijuana. And of course, because it’s synthetic, nobody for sure knows what active ingredients are in there, the strength is variable,” Dr. Marc Eckstein, the Los Angeles Fire Department medical director and EMS bureau commander explained.
Before my homeless stint, I’d never heard of stuff like ‘spice’ and ‘tweaking.’ But 2015 was an education for me. I saw the effects of both—turning relatively normal people into the zombies of recent fiction, except that they weren’t cannibals…that I know of. And regular weed was everywhere. Since the latter is legal here in CA, there are “clinics” all around, and one of the hot topics of the homeless housing was where a customer could get the best high for the most reasonable price. Usually, I’d walk away from such conversations—not for any high-minded reasons, but because they bored me to tears.
Mere nicotine-addicts—like me–and those who would manage to sneak alcohol in were considered relatively straight-laced.
And that brings me to one of the reasons I wanted to stop smoking. It seems to me that all drug addictions bring illusory benefits but, in reality, have only drawbacks. Hard-core illegal drug addicts see these quickly, but we who partake in the legal substances are more likely to fool ourselves for many years, at least until that first stroke, heart attack, car accident, etc.
I’ve mused on my blessings from God many times; one of these is excellent physical health, in spite of battling nicotine addiction for many years. It’s a sin to take a blessing from God and throw it in the trash can, is it not?
Another thing: we are coming into some very perilous times, maybe the End Times. But even if things are not that apocalyptic, it seems that it’s best for each one of us to leave the extraneous habits behind. There is enough useless baggage on our backs already.
Fifteen days. I’m sort of addicted to CornNuts now.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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