NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A community in Brooklyn is at the end of its rope after five K2 overdoses at the same intersection over the weekend.
Synthetic marijuana became a huge problem for Bedford-Stuyvesant about two years ago, when the illegal drug had users walking around like an episode of ‘The Walking Dead.’ The NYPD stepped in and curbed the problem after the community cried out for help, but the recent spate of overdoses are proof the crisis is far from over.
On Monday, ambulances raced to the intersection of Broadway and Myrtle Avenue for reports of a person possibly seizing. In the neighborhood known as a hotbed for synthetic pot, locals quickly assume the narcotic is to blame.
On Saturday, Eugene Dixon says he saw five men overdose at the same intersection.
“They was falling all out in the street. Right here they was laying on their back. So we was just pulling them to the side,” he said.
City Councilman Robert Cornegy (D-36th) says the area is the apparent epicenter for the K2 scourge, and accounts for more than 100 overdoses over the last two years.
In July 2016, police found dozens of people strung out on K2. In May of this year, police set up a mobile command station at the intersection after more than 20 people OD’ed. Since then, the NYPD has arrested more than two dozen people for selling the banned substance.
“Whether it’s a bodega or whether it’s an individual or it’s a criminal syndicate, will not let that happen in this community,” Cornegy said.
Police say the number of overdoses has gone down in the last four months. Cornegy on Monday was joined by other community leaders calling for more city, state, and federal funding to create treatment facilities for users along with jobs, affordable housing, and better education.
They hope the renewed resources can lead the neighborhood in a more positive direction.
“We need the services here. Let’s stop the crap. Let’s go to work,” Bed-Stuy resident Robert Camacho said.
It wasn’t immediately clear who supplied the K2 used in this weekend’s overdoses.