Police seeing a spike in overdose calls across Central New York

Local News

Emergency responders in the city of Syracuse are dealing with another surge in overdose calls–  20 of them just Wednesday alone!

Police says the culprit is once again synthetic marijuana, better known as Spike. 

So far this month, AMR Ambulance has responded to as many as 95 spike overdose calls– many on the street.

When they arrive, overdose patients are sometimes unconscious and sometimes combative. 

“Generally, we have police with us, or the fire department so with their help as well, we are able to control the scenes, but sometimes we’ve had to restrain patients with either handcuffs or chemicals– we have the ability to sedate them with medications,” said Matt Plis, the assistant supervisor at AMR. 

Sold in slickly marketed packets, the drugs have little to do with marijuana. 

The mixture of herbs, spices or shredded plant material, are laced with chemicals and users usually have no idea what they are smoking.  

While the effects on a person vary, on each call, these medics are treating a very sick patient.
 “We have to make sure they have a heart rate, we can use or cardiac monitor here, we will assess the speed and usually what happen, they have a heart rate, then we have here to make sure they breath,” Plis said. 
 

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