- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The number of Anchorage residents transported to the hospital due health problems stemming from the use of a synthetic drug called spice continues to climb.

The Anchorage Fire Department says its emergency medical responders have picked up 88 people in the past 10 days who were known or suspected to have used the drug, the Alaska Dispatch News reported (https://bit.ly/1HDsvFG).

Assistant Chief Erich Scheunemann says those patients represent about 17 percent of the department’s total number of transports during that period.

Police announced last week that they had seen at least 30 hospitalizations related to the drug. Anchorage Police Department acting Deputy Chief Garry Gilliam said tips have come into the department pointing out potential Spice dealers.

He said suspects have been identified and Spice has been seized.



Gilliam said it is unlikely Spice use has become more prevalent.

“We think there’s been a certain level, but something has changed,” Gilliam said. “We don’t have anything to report at this time that would lead us to believe it’s a single source or type of Spice. We’re not there yet.”

Spice was once sold in gas stations and convenience stores and marketed as incense or potpourri. City and state lawmakers have banned the drug.

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, https://www.adn.com

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