Synthetic Marijuana Overdoses Cause N.H. Public Health Emergency
The overdoses are linked to people using a product sold in convenience stores.
In New Hampshire recently there were 44 overdoses cases.
The product causing the overdoses in is known as Smacked, a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores.
Smacked is sold in brightly colored packages with flavors like bubble gum.
Though the product is marketed as potpourri it is often smoked like marijuana and is sprayed with a synthetic compound which in the New Hampshire case led to a number of overdoses.
Authorities in New Hampshire say these kind of products pose a serious public health threat.
Here in Western Massachusetts, Paul McNeil is a member of the Northampton Prevention Coalition which works with middle and high school students about the dangers of substance abuse.
With a synthetic product like Smacked, McNeil says it’s buyer beware,”At this stage of the game it is, especially around a particular substance like they had in New Hampshire with a state of emergency, Smacked is being isolated and alienated as a high risk substance if consumed, it’s not just Smacked, it’s a whole array of essentially substances that are not designed to be consumed,” says McNeil.
McNeil says these kind of products can be especially attractive to some young people,” There are things you can get your hands on, it doesn’t mean you should use it, and it’s another conversation around the more access you have to something that might alter your physical or mental capacity, the more access, the more use you have especially among young people who traditionally are experimenting,” says McNeil.
McNeil says parents should be pro-active and speak to their teenagers about the dangers of using tobacco, alcohol, and drugs including those synthetic marijuana products like the ones that caused a public health emergency in New Hampshire.