Tainted Spice Threatening Region

By ANDREW LOGSDON | alogsdon@wfft.com

Published 08/06 2014 04:47PM

Updated 08/07 2014 08:38AM

The state of Indiana outlawed possession of synthetic marijuana, like spice, last year.

But police and health officials say it remains a problem in northeast Indiana.

Now, police are warning that recent shipments of the drug are laced with a chemical that is causing major problems and making the drugs even more dangerous.

"From what we're encountering, we're concerned,” says officer Michael Joyner of the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Police officials say use of synthetic marijuana, such as spice, is a rising problem in the city.

And now, there's a new problem.

Joyner says they've had three cases in the past week stemming from what they believe to be spice tainted with extra chemicals.

"And they have acted out in very unusual ways. Very unusual ways in that, very psychotic, delusional, or seeing things, they're speaking out of their heads, almost uncontrollable,” Joyner says.

Paramedic Michael Gillespie says it's unknown what is in spice, which makes it hard to predict how someone on spice will act.

But he says this tainted batch is causing big problems.

"We're seeing a lot of commonalities and the issues that we're seeing that are causing a bigger problem this time is the cardiac effects, the heart rates are super high, and the individuals are extremely anxious, to the point that they're convinced that they are going to die, and that we are there to kill them,” Gillespie says.

Hospital officials tell us while they haven't seen an increase in spice cases coming in, they still consider it a problem.

Dr. Tice Ashurst says these patients can be violent and can hurt themselves, staff and other people.

"They can be. I've seen them causing harm to themselves just through the psychosis. I've seen them bang heads off the walls before they can be sedated, or they often come in with multiple paramedics and police trying to keep them down unrestrained enough so that they don't harm themselves,” Dr. Ashurst says.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.