by: Tom Regan Updated:
ATLANTA - The Georgia Division of Public Health said three more people were treated at a hospital in south Georgia over the weekend after smoking synthetic marijuana purchased at a store.
Eleven people have required medical treatment in less than a week.
"The individuals ranged in age from 16 to 25," said Dr. Pat O'Neill, director of health protection for the Georgia Division of Public Health. "One was on life support, three intubated, which is preparing them for life support, if needed."
O'Neill told Channel 2's Tom Regan the new strain of synthetic marijuana caused unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat and other symptoms inclduing a lockup of one user's arms and legs.
"One of the individuals started to lean up against a car but stopped in a place about 8 inches from the car and was just frozen in front of the car when she was found by paramedics," said O'Neill.
Glynn County police in Brunswick are investigating but have not made an arrest.
They said one brand of the products involved is called Crazy Clown.
Another is Herbal Madness. Authorities believe the products where sent to Georgia from Colorado.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is testing samples of the drugs to determine if they are illegal. State health officials have sent out an alert to thousands of doctors and emergency room physicians to be on the lookout for patients demonstrating symptoms consistent with the drugs.
"Getting the message out as a whole is terribly important, because physicians haven't seen symptoms like this very often. I have been in practice here in Georgia 40 years, and I don't recall any situation like this from an over-the-counter item someone can purhase," said O'Neill.
The Division of Public Health says it will work with the GBI and local authorities to locate any of the product and remove it from shelves. Several overdose victims remain in the hospital.
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