Alachua County: 14 in hopsital after drug overdoses Memorial Day Weekend

Spice drug

The Department of Health is warning residents about a "bad batch" of illegal drugs that sent 14 people to the hospital this weekend.

Alachua County Health officials say the drug is a synthetic marijuana, often called K2 or Spice on the street. They haven't seen this many overdose cases in one weekend in years.

"The only thing I can compare this to is in May of 2014, where we had upwards of thirty cases in Alachua County," said Paul Myers, of the Alachua County Health Department.

The Sheriff's Office says this drug specifically tries to target children.

"They'll make it very colorful, they'll put things as you saw on one of the packages, the angry bird, a cartoon character," said Sgt. Chris Sims. "That's all marketing. That's their goal to get you as the young consumer to purchase it."

The Sheriff's Office says most people don't even know the chemicals within the drug before they take it.

"It is man made," said Sims. "It's a product that we have found usually comes from overseas locations. Usually created in some kind of underground laboratory."

Extremely high blood pressure, heart attacks, and seizures are just a few symptoms users could face.

The Department of Health says raising awareness of the drug and what it can do will help drop the number of overdoses.

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