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NH Governor Declares Emergency After Synthetic Drug Overdoses

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — The state of New Hampshire has declared a state of emergency following a sudden spike in overdoses from people ingesting a synthetic drug called “Smacked.”

Police and EMT’s have been responding to medical emergencies at several parks this week. In Manchester at least 41 people have experienced serious medical reactions since August 11, at least 20 taken by ambulance to local hospitals.

“People are lethargic, have elevated heart rates, and seizures,” said police chief David Mara. In addition, Concord police have reported at least three cases in the last 24 hours.

“Smacked” is a packaged mixture of spices sprayed with a synthetic drug similar to the active ingredient in marijuana. It’s usually smoked to get a high. “‘You don’t know what you’re getting, there’s no FDA check, and it’s sold under the pretense of being potpourri,” said chief Mara.

He believes what he calls a “bad batch” made it’s way into the market and is sold at convenience stores. The state of emergency from Governor Hassan will help police confiscate the drug from the stores and raise awareness. Manchester police have already shutdown three stores they say have not cooperated.

According to Governor Hassan, “These products pose a serious threat to public health, especially to young people, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to combat the recent rash of overdoses.”

Chief Mara says it’s now a criminal investigation to determine where the product is coming from.

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