Former K2 user talks about dangers of the drug

A packet of K2 confiscated by Austin Police. (Austin Police)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police made an arrest Tuesday in connection with K2 cases in downtown Austin that left Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services treating 25 people who got sick from the synthetic drug since noon Monday.

Mikel Morales says he tried K2 in the past and that his bad experience keeps him far from a drug like K2.

“I’ve tried it two or three times and I said, ‘Nuh-uh, I can’t deal with this stuff,'” said Morales, “I tell you what, you’re messing with something that can affect you very badly.”

He hated to hear that several people got sick Monday from a bad batch of K2. The majority of the people who experienced a dangerous reaction to K2 in the past 24 hours were brought to the emergency room at University Medical Center Brackenridge.

“Pretty soon after the third or fourth or fifth one, we start to realize that there’s a little more going on that we expected,” said Emergency Medical Director, Dr. Chris Ziebell, “We got about 20 patients in a very, very short while, all of whom had alterations in mental status.”

Dr. Ziebell says side effects from these drugs range from someone being unresponsive, to the opposite, an agitated, combative patient. He says their staff is trained to treat patients with these toxins in their bodies, and it’s not too uncommon.

“We have been seeing increasing amounts of K2 for six to eight months now, probably. I think this is our biggest incident so far,” said Dr. Ziebell.

Morales hopes that trend changes.

“I just feel that I need to reach out to people and say, ‘Hey, take it from me. I finally gave it up and it’s a much better lifestyle,” said Morales.

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