by: Tom Regan Updated:
Drug investigators and Georgia health officials said a new and dangerous strain of synthetic marijuana continues to sicken users and may be in the metro Atlanta area.
Since last week, 14 people in Brunswick have been treated for symptoms including hallucinations, psychotic episodes and breathing difficulty.
The patients' ages range from 18
The Georgia Department of Public Health said two remain on life
support, which may be removed by their families.
Two other suspected cases in Bartow County are under investigation.
"The symptoms are much more dangerous than what we have seen in the past," said Dr. Patrick O'Neill of the public-health agency. "Law enforcement is actively engaged in this and we're concerned about watching out for the whole state."
The synthetic pot is sold under several labels, including Crazy Clown and Black Mamba.
Doctors in Denver report more than 30 people there have been treated for medical emergencies after smoking the drug. In many instances, the patients are combative and delusional.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is testing samples of the new drug to determine compounds and chemical ingredients. An official told Channel 2 News this week the substances may not be among the synthetic compounds banned in Georgia.
So far there have been no arrests.
"Purchasing, smoking and ingesting this incense is just absolutely one of the riskiest things you can do." said O'Neill.
New synthetic pot strains wreaking havoc on users
Official after deadly storms: 'We need everything our country can give us'
Deal adds 9 counties to emergency declaration after deadly storms
RISE UP: Falcons to face Patriots in Super Bowl LI in Houston
PHOTOS: Falcons win NFC Championship, headed to Super Bowl