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Larissa Doucette

From March 15 through April 20, 462 people in Alabama were sent to a hospital emergency department, and 473 people in Mississippi were hospitalized due to synthetic cannabinoid overdoses, according to CBS News. The drug, also known as “K2” and “Spice” sickened more than 160 people in New York, and may be tied to the deaths of at least seven people. Similar issues have occurred in Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas, and authorities in Louisiana report at least one fatality, The New York Times reports. Synthetic drugs are toxic and pose a serious risk to the public. Symptoms such as rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting, agitation, lethargy, hallucinations, and kidney and breathing problems can occur, according to a press release from the Mobile County Health Department of Mobile, AL.