Governor declares emergency after synthetic drug causes 44 overdoses
CONCORD, N.H. – The governor of New Hampshire is taking action after a synthetic drug sent dozens of people to the hospital this week.
Gov. Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency over the substance known as ‘smacked.’
Authorities say ‘smacked’ has caused at least 44 overdoses in two cities since Monday.
“Some of these products are, in fact, legal and what we want to do is get them off the shelves,” said Gov. Hassan.
‘Smacked’ is marketed as incense but officials say people have been smoking it or brewing it into a tea.
Police say it is sprayed with a chemical similar to THC that gives users a dangerous high.
The brand’s bubblegum flavor has been connected to dozens of overdoses.
“These spice products can be treated with a variety of things. Some are showing up with controlled substances that make them illegal, but we don’t know that that’s true for all of them,” said Hassan.
The state of emergency allows police to pull it off of the shelves, confiscating ‘smacked’ while they work with store owners to get to the bottom of who is making it.
“The problem with it is there are so many different brands of it and each varies with what they put in it, so it’s hard to regulate,” said Corey Dubois.
“I think it should come off the market all together, all of the spice,” said Nicole Audet.