EMS warns against synthetic drugs after viral video

Louisville EMS issues warning about synthetic drug 'Serenity'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Lexington, Kentucky police say the viral video circulating around the internet showing a man crawling on the ground and banging his head against the window show the reality of a newer and powerful drug called Serenity.

The scene was captured last week in Lexington. Police say the man was overdosing on the synthetic drug.

"We are seeing it more and more today," Louisville Metro EMS Operations Officer James Polk said.  He said more of his workers are being exposed to similar behavior over recent years - even putting crews at risk of injury.

"Rarely are they cooperative. Some are a little more extreme than others. They all fit the same bill," Polk said.

To avoid being stuck by needles, or assaulted, Polk said EMS crews will often stand-down until police can secure an overdose scene. Local recovery centers are now using the video as a teaching tool about the consequences of using synthetic drugs.

"In most cases, something like a synthetic marijuana or a spice or K2 will affect the brains where it will actually turn the person crazy or go into some bad psychosis," Russ Read said.

He's the Executive Director of Louisville's Beacon House and says he wasn't surprised by what the video shows and warns it should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks synthetic drugs aren't dangerous.  "We really didn't see that man personally.  We saw the effect of a drug that that man had taken," Read said.

The four men who overdosed did survive.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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