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24 Overdoses of Synthetic Marijuana Hit Butler, Ohio in One Day

Ohio got a big surprise at their recent EST FEST Music Festival in Butler, about 90 miles southwest of Cleveland. EST stands for “Everybody Stands Together” but at least 24 people weren’t standing at all – they were getting treated for drug overdoses. The drug that caused the overdoses was synthetic marijuana. Not too many people would associate marijuana with overdose, but this situation was different, and could happen to a lot of others in Ohio and elsewhere.

When the paramedics arrived, they assumed the overdoses were from opiates. But after giving each person Narcon (aka Naloxone, the drug that saves many lives by reversing the overdose effects of opiates) and seeing that the people who overdosed did not respond, they started looking for what drug did cause the problem.

What they found was synthetic marijuana.

What’s so dangerous about synthetic marijuana?

  • No one knows what it’s in any particular batch.
  • Each batch can be different. So just because you found out what was in batch A, doesn’t mean you have a clue about what’s in batch B.
  • The tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH), the ingredient in marijuana that gets you high, could be anywhere from two to 100 times more potent in synthetic marijuana than in the real thing.

The synthetic marijuana that caused the problem in Butler was in candies in bags. Each bag contained 100 candies, or more. It only takes one or two of the candies to get you high but some people were eating entire bags.

About 15 ‘synthetic marijuana’ products have been classified as Schedule 1 drugs – which means that they are considered to have no medical use and have a high potential for abuse. Once classified, the drugs are illegal and law enforcement can do something about it.

But, although the process for declaring a drug Schedule 1 has sped up considerably, nothing can be done to start the process until the law and other federal officials know about – which usually can’t happen until some damage has already been done.

By the time that happens, the people who make these synthetic drugs have already found a way to alter what they’re selling enough so they now have a new synthetic drug. Now something has to happen regarding that drug for the law to find out about it and start the process of declaring it Schedule 1.

You see the problem? The guys (creeps really, I mean who would want to do that?) who make the drugs stay at least one step ahead of the law ALL the time.

Anyone who is willing to take drugs under those circumstances really needs some addiction help. They may not be addicted to one particular drug, but they’re definitely lost in that world and basically willing to kill themselves to get another high.

If that person doesn’t help, who does? If you know someone involved in synthetic marijuana, or other synthetic drugs, get them the help they need.



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