BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — Thirty-three people were hospitalized after an apparent K2 overdose in Brooklyn on Tuesday, police said.
The victims were transported to Woodhull Medical Center and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. All of the victims were picked up in the same two-block radius.
Several people were seen passed out on the sidewalk near Broadway and Myrtle Avenue where the users were transported to the hospitals. One man managed to walk to a car where he passed out in the driver's seat.
An officer at the scene rated the day as the worst he has ever seen.
Neighborhood residents have previously complained about an epidemic of K2 users in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Users continually overtake the area even after police have cleared the sidewalks. New smokers come to the area all the time, said Jason Reis, a man who's lived in the area for eight years.
"In previous years, you might see the same five or 10 guys around," Reis said. "Now it's five new guys every half hour walking around smoking it."
An area bodega has been selling K2, residents said. Neighborhood sidewalks are littered with empty synthetic marijuana packages. Ingrid Perez, a neighborhood worker, said she frequently sweeps packets off the sidewalks so business won't be hurt.
K2 can cause extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, seizures, fainting, kidney failure and reduced blood supply to the heart, according to the Health Department. The production and sale of the drug was outlawed in the city on Oct. 20, 2015.
For more information on the K2 drug, head on to the New York State Department of Health's website here.