New York residents hospitalised after huge K2 drug overdose
It was like a scene from an episode of The Walking Dead. But it wasn't zombies who could barely stand, it was New Yorkers.
And it wasn't an apocalyptic infection they were suffering from - but the same bad batch of bad drugs.
Thirty-three people were hospitalized for a possible overdose on K2, a type of synthetic marijuana, in Brooklyn 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.
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Horrified children looked on as paramedics checked on two New Yorkers among the 33 who were hospitalized for a possible overdose on a bad batch of K2, a type of synthetic marijuana
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-Stuyvestant and Bushwick neighborhoods
At least 17 people 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
pre bonded hairPolice first received a report of multiple people with an 'altered mental status' outside a Brooklyn community garden on Stockton Street
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 to Daily Mail Online.
'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.'
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
One resident said it was a 'horrible scene' filled with K2 addicts who were 'motionless' on the street
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.
remy hair extensionsK2 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.
Because the chemicals vary from packet to packet, the effects of K2 are unpredictable and can change from use to use, according to the New York City Health Department.
This man could not stand up on his own and had to sit down as he talked to authorities
The man then had to be physically held up by police as they waited to load him onto a stretcher
Authorities said all of the hospitalized patients were expected to survive but were lucky 'they didn't die'
Effects of K2, which is packaged under names like Spice, AK-47, Smacked, and Dank, can include extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations.
More than 6,000 people have been sent to the emergency room in New York because of K2 since 2015 and there have been two confirmed deaths caused by the drug.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill in October that made it illegal to sell or produce K2, making it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and fines of more than $100,000.
In May he announced that there had been an 85 percent decline in K2-related emergency visits in the last 10 months.
But on Stockton Street the drug remains a constant problem for residents, who had taken to putting up handwritten signs that read 'No Smoking K2'.
WHAT IS SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA?
Synthetic marijuana contains man-made chemicals that act on the same cell receptors in the brain as THC does in natural marijuana.
Researchers have found instances in which chemicals in synthetic marijuana can bind much more strongly to cell receptors than THC does in marijuana that is grown
This can produce stronger effects, such as an elevated mood or feeling of relaxation.
But synthetic marijuana is also known to have psychotic effects on some users.
These can include extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia and even hallucinations.
Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse
'They're like walking zombies,' said Jimmy Bravo, a clerk at a local bodega told the New York Daily News. 'Ambulances pick them up night and day, 24 hours. Cops see them but they don't do nothing.'
Foehrenbach said Tuesday was 'far, far, worse than usual'.
'Today was unprecedented,' she told Daily Mail Online.
perruques cheveux naturelsThe longtime resident said she had observed a K2 problem in the neighborhood for the past two years, but said it had really escalated in recent months.
'Our local community gardens have become a popular spot for this,' she said.
'As a result they're plagued with people passed out, loitering, trash and public urination.'
The NYPD said in a statement there has been a regular and 'targeted enforcement' in the area that has resulted in 'multiple arrests and seizures of K2'.
Neighbors said police frequently raid the bodega for K2.
It is believed that Big Boy Deli has become the 'sole distributor' of the drug in the area, according to DNAInfo.com.
Foehrenbach said she has been told that everyone is aware the problem is stemming from the Deli.
'I do think that the owners of this deli should be ashamed of themselves,' she said.
'They care less about the neighborhood that supports them and more about the almighty dollar.'
'They are willing to poison a population of already vulnerable people, let the fallout spill over the surrounding street and let everyone else clean up the mess while they profit.'
Residents who lived in the neighborhood's nearby homeless shelter and treatment clinics said emergency workers warmed them that a bad batch of K2 was going around.
The New York Health Department said it is investigating and monitoring emergency rooms across the city.
Another man was so out of it he leaned onto a fire hydrant for support. One resident said most of the addicts in the neighborhood were teenage men
Another resident was seen leaning against a wall while one man could be seen trying to help his friend
With starring roles in Suicide Squad, Wolf of Wall Street and The Legend of Tarzan, Margot Robbie has Hollywood well and truly under her spell.
And now a new generation of up-and-coming Australian soap stars are trying to emulate the success of the ex-Neighbours actress.
Olympia Valance, Mavournee Hazel and Lilly Van Der Meer - all of whom are causing a stir on Neighbours, are trying to follow in their role model's footsteps.
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Role model: Neighbours star Olympia Valance (left) is trying to emulate the success of Margot Robbie (right)
Lilly, who plays Xanthe Canning on the show, has even been touted as the new Margot thanks, in part, to her upbringing in the same Gold Coast neighbourhood.
The 16-year-old has previously told the Courier Mail how she has been spurred on by the blonde beauty's success.
'I love watching all her films, and it's so encouraging to see how well she has done,' she said.
Rising star: Lilly Van Der Meer (pictured) has also expressed an interest in moving to LA
perruques cheveuxSister act: Olympia (left), whose is blessed with the same incredible looks as her older sister Holly Candy (nee Valance), is also making waves on the popular soap
'I love where I am right now. Neighbours is so amazing and I always wanted to be a part of a show like this.'
Olympia, whose is blessed with the same incredible looks as her older sister Holly Candy (nee Valance), is also making waves on the popular soap.
The brunette beauty has already been scouted by the same Hollywood agents that look after Chris and Liam Hemsworth.
She has not ruled out a move to Tinseltown and all eyes will be on the 23-year-old when her contract runs out early next year.
Making waves: Olympia has already been scouted by the same Hollywood agents that look after Chris and Liam Hemsworth
Popular: With starring roles in Suicide Squad (pictured), Wolf of Wall Street and The Legend of Tarzan, Margot Robbie has Hollywood well and truly under her spell
Olympia, who plays Paige Smith on the show, has previously told Sydney Morning Herald how she would 'love' to try something different and star in a movie.
'LA might be down the line,' she said.
Mavournee has also spoken about how she strives to match Margot's work ethic on the Neighbours set.
She told news.com.au: 'Margot's work ethic (on Neighbours) was impeccable. She always arrived on set knowing her lines.
'Being where Margot has been I'm trying to replicate that.'
Talent: Mavournee Hazel has also spoken about how she strives to match Margot's work ethic on the Neighbours set
She's been enjoying a picturesque holiday in Italy with her family.
And Beyonce looked stylish as she was spotted in Lipari, Sicily with husband Jay Z and their adorable daughter Blue Ivy on Friday.
Rocking a black one-piece swimsuit, the 34-year-old superstar enjoyed the sights and sounds of the beautiful island with her nearest and dearest.
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Fun in the sun! Beyonce looked stylish as she was spotted in Lipari, Sicily with husband Jay Z and their adorable daughter Blue Ivy
Showing off her sizzling hot body, her strapless monokini accentuated her ample cleavage and featured a patterned string planel across her midriff with pretty gold beading.
Adding a splash of colour, she donned a chunky turquoise statement necklace and accessorised with hoop earrings.
Covering her face with a large sunhat, she looked every inch the stylish star.
Sizzling! Rocking a black one-piece swimsuit, the 34-year-old superstar enjoyed the sights and sounds of the beautiful island
Effortless glamour: Covering her pretty face with metallic shades, she wore her trademark golden tresses in beach curls
Yummy mummy: Showing off her sizzling hot body, her strapless monokini accentuated her ample cleavage and featured a patterned string planel across her midriff with pretty gold beading
lace front wigsAnd covering her pretty face with metallic shades, she wore her trademark golden tresses in beach curls.
Adding a cover-up to her ensemble, she rocked a semi-sheer dark blue kaftan.
Opting for casual footwear, the Run The World hitmaker wore low black sandals.
La Dolce Vita! Adding a splash of colour, she donned a chunky turquoise statement necklace and accessorised with hoop earrings
Mini-me: Little Blue Ivy was also in tow, looking cute in a burgundy summer dress
Adorable: Wearing her hair in cute bows, the four-year-old tot donned pretty designer sandals with metallic wings
Family affair: 46-year-old music mogul Jay looked casual in a white T-shirt and shorts, as they explored the island with a group of friends
Precious cargo: Doting dad Jay and a pal helped Blue Ivy onto a boat
I got you babe: Jay then turned his attentions to his stunning wife, making sure she got onto the boat safely
Little Blue Ivy was also in tow, looking cute in a burgundy summer dress.
Wearing her hair in cute bows, she donned pretty designer sandals with metallic wings.
cosplay wigsThe four-year-old tot held on to dad Jay Z's hand as they boarded a boat.
VIP treatment: Bey held out her hand as she negotiated the jump from the shore
Leggy: The music superstar showed off her long legs as she climbed aboard
Mini me: Beyonce kept close to her daughter all day, holding her hand in the sunshine
Group outing: Beyonce and Jay have been joined by some friends in Italy
The 46-year-old music mogul looked casual in a white T-shirt and shorts, as they explored the island with a group of friends.
The pop star and her family were enjoying some down time after wrapping up the European leg of her Formation World Tour.
Beyoncé's tour heads back to the US next month, as she continues to promote her latest album Lemonade.
The need for speed: Beyonce later showed off her action girl side as she hit a jet ski
VIP on board! The star got some pointers before whizzing off
Giving her a run for her money: Jay also hopped on a jet ski for a ride across the waves