JACKSON, Miss.- In April alone there have been 317 reports of spice-related emergency room visits from Mississippi hospitals.
State epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs says, “We’re also investigating seven potential deaths and this is all within the past two and a half weeks.”
Reports of spice-related incidents have been received in the following counties: Adams, Amite, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Lauderdale, Leake, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Pike, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Walthall, Wayne, Wilkinson and Winston.
“There are several chemicals circulating currently in the drug that are basically chemicals that are created to make people feel like they’re smoking marijuana, but it’s not related to marijuana in any way.” Dobbs said, “This is dangerous and unpredictable. If someone has had spice before, trying it again could be something totally new; it’s not worth dying over, not worth going into a coma over or suffering brain damage.”
Dobbs said the Mississippi State Department of Health is researching the chemicals being used in the drugs and that they are is still waiting for a toxicological analysis from California. Dobbs says it’s not something that can be tested very easily, but they hope to have more detailed information soon.
Law enforcement agencies are currently investigating and tracking down people that are making and selling the drugs.