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Spice patients' behaviors putting others in danger

Published On: Oct 28 2013 07:03:24 PM CDT

Spice patients causing trouble in hospitals.


Hospital visits related to the synthetic marijuana called spice are still a problem in Colorado Springs, and patients' behavior is putting others in danger.

Memorial Hospital said more than 60 people came in for help because of the drug during a one-month period in August and September. One doctor thinks there was a spike because someone introduced a type of spice into the market. Since then, the hospital stopped tracking the number of visits, but workers there know when they see a spice patient. Many times the patient will be medically stable, but his or her behavior is troublesome.

"The biggest problem is people are extremely combative and fighting with you, and then they'll be completely asleep and unconscious," Dr. David Steinbruner said. "Then all of a sudden, they come off the table and start hitting everybody or fighting with you, endangering themselves and others who are trying to help them. And it'll be like a switch. Just turn on and turn off. And then they'll have no memory of it and go right back out again."

Dr. Steinbruner said the patients' behavior is difficult to deal with. Medical staffers treat patients with medicine, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


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