synthetic marijuana

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The numbers of synthetic marijuana cases called into the Upstate New York Poison Center continues to be off the charts. Officials say there could be more than 800 by the end of the year if the cases don’t abate.

James Abbott, Thomas Campbell and James Rosenberg, three former chief executives of Syracuse's public hospital, describe the challenges they faced from the 1950s to the 1990s on this week’s show. 

They helped shape health care as it underwent a revolution in the 20th century, including new technologies and quicker, less invasive surgeries. Despite all the changes, Abbott, Campbell and Rosenberg believe the fundamental task of hospitals hasn’t changed -- keeping the patients comfortable and treating them with humanity.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Prosecutors and police agencies across central New York are trying a new strategy as they continue to fight the rising use of synthetic marijuana. Not since the bath salts craze of 2012 have local police and emergency personnel come across so many agitated individuals high on synthetic drugs. 

An alarming number of people who take synthetic marijuana are arriving at hospital emergency departments in Syracuse suffering from dangerous reactions. Dr. Ross Sullivan stresses that people need to know this drug can cause coma, extreme agitation, seizures and even death.

Dr. Sullivan, director of the medical toxicology consultation service and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Upstate University Hospital, says street drug makers constantly tweak the chemical structure and stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s been a spike in the number of people heading to emergency rooms in Central New York, for treatment after using synthetic marijuana.     

Christine Stork, clinical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center, knew there was a problem when she came to work last week.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Upstate New York Poison Center saw a threefold increase in calls about synthetic drugs last year, as there was a resurgence in use of these chemicals.

Lee Livermore, a public education health coordinator, says these synthetic cannabinoids seem to have become a drug of choice for many abusters. There were a total of 290 calls about overdoses of these synthetic drugs last year to the poison center.

Oswego County mother takes head shop owner to court

Feb 24, 2014

An Oswego County mother is taking a local head shop to court following her son's death after smoking synthetic marijuana he allegedly bought from the store.

Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son, Victor, drowned in Lake Ontario after smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, wants the shop's owner, the drug manufacturer and the distributor held accountable.

In August 2012, Victor Woolson drowned in the lake soon after smoking "K-2 Avalanche," a form of synthetic marijuana he apparently bought from Xtreme Underground.

Raquel Baranow / Flickr

The abuse of the designer drug called "bath salts" came of age this summer, with violent episodes from abusers reported by police and medical professionals across central New York.

Some authorities are worried about what happens next, when universities and schools go back into session.

The New York State Department of Health regulations outlawing  bath salts in New York state come on the heels of several local laws banning the designer drug.  The new regulations were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, but there could be more laws coming down the road.
 

New York State has banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products. Marketed as “herbal incense” and sold under names like Spice and K2, the fake pot has been popular with people across the North Country—including Fort Drum soldiers. The post near Watertown recently announced it would ban soldiers from spending money at any businesses that sell synthetic pot. But it now seems that won’t be necessary.