AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number of K2 overdose cases in the Austin area continues to grow, but the problem is even more widespread in the Dallas area.
Baylor University Medical Center and Parkland Hospital report handling at least 91 cases believed to be related to the synthetic drug.
About 40 cases came in to Baylor University Medical Center over the past five days. The hospital averages about 70 overdose cases each month.
Austin-Travis County EMS said Monday the number of cases here possibly linked to the drug climbed to 30. Medics and police first started reporting the problem in Austin last Wednesday when more thab 12 people overdosed in 1 day.
One case from over the weekend involved a woman who was 32 weeks into her pregnancy. She reportedly had a seizure at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
ATCEMS Cmdr. Mike Benavides said the woman confirmed she used the drug, but it’s uncertain if it contributed to her seizure. A life-threatening symptom of pregnancy, eclampsia, could be the cause of the attack.
Cmdr. Benavides says symptoms include seizures, blackouts and even becoming violent.
Talmadge Bell, 47, is accused of using K2 last week on the same day nearly a dozen others also overdosed.
Court documents say the drug was laced with Phencyclidine, also know as PCP. Authorities said that led to Bell breaking free from his restraints and throwing a laptop while inside an ambulance.
Paramedics are afraid the increased temperatures could soon make matters worse.
“If you’re using this stuff in 90 degree temperatures,” Benavides said, “you’re going to compound the impact of that drug.”
Paramedics also say this the first time they’ve ever seen a trend like this in the Austin area with this drug. Police are investigating whether there’s more than one person distributing the drug.