Teen ends up in ER after smoking ‘synthetic pot’

Teen ends up in ER after smoking ‘synthetic pot’ »Play Video

SALEM, Ore. - A 16-year-old boy recently spent four hours in the emergency room after smoking “Buzz”, which is “synthetic marijuana.”

It can also be called “K-2” and “Spice”, and it is legal but it can be very dangerous.

The boy’s mother, who only wanted to be identified as Sherry to protect her son, said her son was hallucinating and unable to breathe after smoking the substance.

Sherry said her son woke her up Monday morning screaming.

“He’s telling me, ‘please Mom, don’t let me die. I’m only 16 years old. I don’t want to die.’”

Sherry said her son gave money to a homeless man to purchase him the so-called “synthetic marijuana” which can legally be purchased at head and smoke shops.

 “He was sure he couldn’t breathe,” Sherry said. “His whole body was twitching. He couldn’t feel his hands, and he couldn’t feel his legs.”

The teenager had to be taken to the Salem hospital for treatment of high blood pressure and a soaring heart rate.

“For a parent to sit in the ER and tell their child they’re not going to die, and remind them to breathe every couple of minutes – it was just horrific,” Sherry said.

The reason why “The Buzz” can be bought legally is because it is sold as herbal incense. The packages also read “not for human consumption.”

Antidrug advocates say that’s why it’s avoided regulation.

“Even an herbal drug can be very dangerous,” said John McNulty, who is a pharmacist with Salem Hospital.

While he said there is no proof the product causes serious adverse effects, someone who smokes it could have an allergic reaction to the herbs or react to chemicals laced on the product.

“People are willing to take incredible risks because they think that this would be cool or gives them a sense of well-being, when truly you’re taking your life in your hands every time you do it,” McNulty said.

“Even though it’s called ‘synthetic pot’ or ‘fake pot’ it was by no means a pot reaction,” said Sherry. “He couldn’t breathe. He was panicking.”

Some countries and some U.S. states have banned its sale.

Sherry says she’ll testify before lawmakers to get it off the shelves in the United States.

She says her son is embarrassed over what happened and thinks he’s learned his lesson.

She says he’s still suffering some side effects like tingling and twitching.