"We strongly advise, vehemently advise that everyone avoid taking these mind altering chemicals. There is no way that these can be safe." said Dobbs.
That's Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the State Epidemiologist with the Mississippi Department of Health, urging Mississippians not to use the illegal drug Spice. Doctor's at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, say they've seen as many as 34 patients and half had to be admitted. They are agitated, hallucinating, delirious, sweating and some are acting violently. Dr. Alan Jones Chairs Emergency Medicine.
"Many of these patients are particularly ill. We've had some that are comatose requiring critical care." said Jones.
Dr. Jones says, most of the patients are in their 20's and 30's. The youngest is 14. Joseph Shepherd, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration says the synthetic leaf products that are used to make Spice mimic marijuana and are often shipped to the U.S. from China and India. Once they arrive they are sprayed with chemicals. Agent Shepherd.
"You don't know what you have. It can be rat poison. It can be cyanide. Anything can be sprayed unto this stuff. You don't know what you're smoking." said Shepherd. Shepherd says, they are assisting the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and have contacts overseas and here.
"We have other means and technology that we can figure out what's going on in the community. Our investigation will be a thorough investigation." said Shepherd.
MBN says it's developing leads in the case. They recently seized Spice in Lauderdale and Jackson Counties.