Three teens hospitalized after K2 use

Published Friday, April 27, 2012
By Mary Wendell

BANNED - K2, a marijuana substitute, is banned by most cities and state law. Submitted photo

Justin Police have determined that three recent drug overdoses were the result of teenagers using a banned substance known as K2.

Although illegal by city ordinance and state law, K2, – which is marketed as an incense, but it is sprayed with a chemical that produces similar effects to marijuana – has apparently found its way to Justin.

One teenager overdosed on April 3. On April 8, two teenagers needed medical treatment after using the drug.

The April 3 victim would not admit what he had taken, police said. But officers were able to compare the symptoms from all three victims and decided all had overdosed on a K2-like substance.

Police were called to Sonic Drive-In on FM 156 about 8 p.m. Sunday, April 8 after two 17-year-old employees overdosed in a back room. They were transported to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, where they were treated and released.

A statewide ban on K2 took effect last September, but some retail shops have been able to “tweak” the ingredients and change the name to yield a product with an effect similar to that of K2.

The Justin teenagers told police they purchased the substance at the Dan D Mart at Texas 114 and Farm Road 156 under the name of Gorilla Dro, a herbal incense.

Employees at the store deny the claims by the victims and said that they do not sell K2 because there is a ban on it. The store is located within the Fort Worth city limits but is only four miles from Justin city limits.

At the urging of Police Chief Bill Brooks, Justin banned the active ingredients in K2 in August 2010. Brooks said he had noticed a trend.

“I saw the other towns adopting the ban and I thought it was a good idea,” Brooks said. “We adopted the ordinance for preventative measures.”

This overdose was the first of its kind in Justin, causing the police to become concerned about a lack of knowledge of the drug.

“We are trying to set up training for the fire department and the police department so that we can have more knowledge about the drugs and the symptoms,” Brooks said.