Now In Rehab, Former Tulsa K2 Users Say High Isn't Worth It
TULSA, Oklahoma - Wednesday, EMSA treated two men and a woman and an unidentified patient for K2 overdoses, which makes a total of 24 people in the past two days.
Police also made a fourth arrest Wednesday. They said Victor Matthews was one of the men treated Tuesday, but had K2 on him as well. Tuesday, they also arrested a clerk and two other men accused of selling the K2.
In the last two days we’ve seen the results the drug can have on users; in many cases patients had seizures, passed out and ended up in local hospital.
We’re told just one hit can be incredibly dangerous, so why do so many people try it again and again? Two women shared their stories of K2 addiction to help explain.
A few years ago, Courtney was hooked on K2, but now she’s going through rehabilitation at the Tulsa Women and Children's Center.
Courtney said it was meth that first got her into trouble, but said K2 gave her the same high, maybe an even better one.
"Yes, it's addicting. The reason why is because of that high. Like any other addiction, you're wanting to chase that first high," she said.
Kimberly Thornton has used K2 as well, but stopped because she said she hated the way it made her feel.
"I was scared, confused, I was really paranoid, and it felt like I was having a heart attack," Thornton said.
Some patients have heart attacks. Others, like recent victims, vomit heavily or convulse, while others suffer mentally.
Patty Crisp with the Tulsa Woman and Children’s Center said, "The hallucinations and the paranoia, because if one has paranoia, they can believe they have to protect themselves and they can really be harmful to others."
Courtney said that's what happened to her - the K2 made her scared and not herself.
"You're very skittish. Everything can kind of freak you out a little bit; you can get scared of things. Things that normally wouldn't bother you can upset you, and when you have a bad high on K2, it's like ten times worse," she said.
Both women are making progress in their journeys away from drug addiction, especially K2.
When asked if she would try it again, Thornton said, "No. I would not."
Courtney said, "An addiction is a disease and can take over your life. With K2, do not try it. It's not worth it. No matter what you're hearing about how good the high is, it is not worth it."
The addiction can be costly in other ways. EMSA says it charges $1,300 for every ride to the hospital, and with 24 patients, many of whom may not be insured, that's tens of thousands of dollars that EMSA will never see.