Nurses warn against the dangers of synthetic pot

Nurses warn against the dangers of synthetic pot

Medical professionals continue to see patients coming in on the brink of death after smoking synthetic compounds. Since April, UMC nurses reported 50 to 60 cases of patients admitted who are under the influence of the substance.

Bug repellant, Raid, cat urine and Pine-Sol. Those are just some of the ingredients found in synthetic pot.

"We've had some inmates in our jail that have tried this and used it and they're not the same," Terry County Judge Butch Wagner said.

A group of local nurses say it's an internal american terrorist attack. 

"You know these stories that these nurses tell, it's life," an LCU student said.

Kim Henry had first hand experience with some of those stories. 

"You have a baby that's looking at you and can look around but can't do anything, I mean it's literally like a baby doll you just pick up the arms and legs and it just falls," NEIDS nurse Kim Henry said.

The infant's parents were smoking the substance in the car. That's when Henry realized second hand smoke is just as life threatening. 

"And in this baby's instance have permanent brain damage," Henry said.

Not only is it highly addictive, it can kill you on the first hit.

"One time use could just mess you up forever," Wagner said. "It has killed these young people and it affects the whole family top to bottom."

"Sharing these types of stories and the reality of losing patients and knowing what happens to the patients are what these people need to hear," the LCU nursing student said.

Fever, vomiting, seizures, hyper activity only some of the symptoms associated with the drug. Henry warned, the facial expression of someone who has ingested it is not the same as someone who is high on marijuana. 

"They're eyes are really wide, they're opening them as wide as they can and they have scared look. It's not a glazed over high look, it's a scared look."

Henry is a part of NEIDS, Nurses Educating on Illegal Drugs and Synthetics. 

"Somehow somewhere along the lines, maybe we've made a difference."

During the NEIDS event came a surprise visit from Senator Charles Perry and staff from Representative Dustin Burrow's office. 

The two legislators worked to make the possession and sale of synthetic pot illegal in Texas. 

"This is coming out September First, that it's going to be illegal and I think that's great because it needs to be off the streets," Wagner said.

The crime will carry up to 20 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine per packet. But Henry said, the fight isn't over.

"The battle's not over just because it's going to be against the law it's a new battle we're going to start and we're going to fight that battle just as hard as we've been fighting the last battle for the last 6 months."

NEIDS offers these kinds of educational discussions to any school or organization, free of charge. Contact Vern Pharr at UMC at 806-775-8538.

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