LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The synthetic drug spice is not new in Louisville, but it has become increasingly dangerous for many in the city’s most vulnerable community. Though it is considered a synthetic marijuana, scientists say the strands of spice on the streets today are 1,000 times stronger than THC. Coupled with a low price and easy access, Louisville’s homeless community is gripped by spice addiction.
What makes spice so dangerous is that users never know what they are getting. Many strands can be extremely potent or laced with deadly chemicals.
“You don’t know what you’re purchasing. You don’t know what’s actually in there. You don’t if there’s another ingredient in there that’s causing symptoms,” said Dr. Ashley Webb, a clinical toxicologist and lead director of the Kentucky Poison Control Center.
On Jan. 30, The FOCUS team investigates the spice problem in Louisville’s homeless population and asks what the city is doing to combat the problem.
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Christen “Tiny” Herron Markwell sees the impact of spice on the homeless every day. As founder of The Forgotten Louisville, she works closely with the homeless and said spice addiction has become a huge problem.
“I don’t think we should wait until something is an epidemic. We did that with heroin,” Markwell said.