LOWER PAXTON TWP, DAUPHIN COUNTY—Scenes from a mall: two15 year-old boys, one vomiting, screaming, able to rise off the ground despite being held down by three mall security officers. Another also being restrained by mall security. Responding police officers described the behavior as similar to a person on PCP. But the teens weren't hopped up on Angel Dust at the Colonial Park Mall last Friday night. They were apparently smoking synthetic marijuana, substances sold as incense that are similar in composition to the now Federally banned products K2 and Spice. The teens told police they bought the substance at a Lower Paxton Township business. Police are withholding the name of the store at this time. The teens were transported to the Harrisburg Hospital ER by Susquehanna Township EMS.
Lower Paxton Twp. Police are being assisted by the Dauphin County Drug Task Force and the DEA in determining if the substance is covered by the emergency ban instituted by the DEA last year. The three teenagers involved in this incident, all Township residents, were issued citations for Disorderly Conduct, a summary offense.
Pinnacle Health toxicologist, Dr. J. Ward Donovan, has seen his fair share of patients who overdose on synthetic marijuana. Now, because a federal ban on certain chemicals is making it harder to producer and get, Dr. Donovan says teens are turning to another, more dangerous synthetic drug.
"The bath salts do give you a bigger high, more euphoria, a more dramatic effect and unfortunately people seek that," said Dr. Donovan.
A Lebanon County man discovered that in February. After getting high on bath salts, he ran along Rt. 22 because he thought electricity was chasing him and eventually jumped on the hood of a state police cruiser.
Lower Paxton Police are strongly urging parents to pay close attention to any indications that their children may be ingesting these substances such as:
1. Behavioral and personality changes 2. Trouble sleeping 3. Manic episodes 4. Nausea and vomiting 5. Odors of incense burning 6. Packaging in trash
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Lower Paxton Township Police Department at (717) 657-5656, the anonymous Tip-Line at (717) 724-8317 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 262-3080.