Thirty-three people were hospitalized for a possible overdose on K2, a type of synthetic marijuana, in Brooklyn Street on Tuesday morning.
Witnesses reported seeing more than a dozen people passing out, vomiting, urinating and twitching in the middle of the street around 9.30am in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. See more photos and video.They reportedly reacted to the drug almost simultaneously near Broadway and Myrtle Ave, an intersection that has become known as ‘ground zero’ for K2 addicts in the city.
Lindsay Foehrenbach, a resident of the neighborhood for the last 11 years, described the ‘appalling’ scene.
‘People just kept showing up and then quickly dropping to the ground, flopping over hoods of cars, or crumpling onto the sidewalk,’ she said. ‘They all seemed oblivious to their surroundings and just couldn’t stay on their feet. I saw four ambulances show up and more entering the intersection as I was leaving.’
Foehrenbach said one man was spread eagle and lying face down on the ground. Another man laid down in the street between two parked cars. His shoes were off and he was unresponsive. Resident Brian Arthur likewise witnessed the ‘horrible’ scene.
‘Some of them were motionless. This is nothing you’d want your kids to see,’ he told the New York Daily News.
Arthur, 38, filmed the incredible scene and posted it on his Facebook, showing people who couldn’t stand up straight and had to be held up by officers as they waited for a stretcher.
‘This is no joke over here right now, this is tragic,’ Arthur says as his camera moves from one passed-out New Yorker to the next. ‘This is crazy. Tell your kids, tell your family, stay off of that man.’
Arthur said it was mostly young, teenage boys who he saw overdosing in the street.
Police first received a report of multiple people with an ‘altered mental status’ outside a Brooklyn community garden on Stockton Street. Officers found eight intoxicated individuals before discovering nine more, according to the New York Post.
‘Obviously it was a bad batch, a source told the Post. ‘They are lucky they didn’t die.’
Authorities said all of the hospitalized patients were expected to survive.
K2 contains man-made chemicals that act on the same cell receptors in the brain that THC does in natural marijuana. It is dirt cheap, often sold for one to five dollars for a stick or package. Researchers have found instances in which chemicals in synthetic marijuana can bind much more strongly to cell receptors than THC, producing stronger effects.