A New York-based Jewish anti-drug abuse program is warning the synthetic marijuana known as K2 has become a deadly threat.
Dozens of people collapsed in Brooklyn Tuesday after ingesting a bad batch of K2 synthetic marijuana.
News stations across the United States reported the incident, which made national headlines since the use of K2 is rising in the country.
“K2 is an extremely dangerous drug,” Rabbi Yaacov Behrman told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
The director of Operation Survival, a project of the Brooklyn-based National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), Behrman said “K2” is a term used to refer to “any number of chemicals designed to mimic the effects of marijuana.
“But because there is no precise formulation, its effects are highly unpredictable,” he said. “The behavior resulting from K2 use can range from mild aggressiveness to extreme violence. Other effects can range from nausea to kidney failure and even death.”
The affected users who collapsed on Tuesday were all rushed to local emergency rooms; several were reported in critical condition.
“One of the reasons for K2’s surge in popularity is that it doesn’t show up in drug testing,” Behrman explained.
“Our project, Operation Survival, is working with community educators and impact activists to prevent a recurrence of Tuesday’s incident.
“It is our collective responsibility to see to it that our community members are safe from this frightening epidemic.”
The project is aimed at education and prevention of substance abuse and overdose in the Jewish community, as well as the community at large.Hana Levi Julian