Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency in the wake of more than 40 synthetic marijuana overdose cases since Monday.
Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice, has been linked to a jump in overdoses in Manchester and Concord. The powers of Governor Hassan’s executive order to seize the drug sold ostensibly as incense in corner stores, applies only to the bubblegum-flavored variety of a brand called ‘Smacked!.’ Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas says other brands called ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Crazy Monkey’ may also be dangerous.
Long a problem in New England and around the country, heroin has recently caused a rise in overdose deaths and drug-related crime, and increased concern over contamination. We’ll find out what’s fueling this increase, how it’s affecting our region and different strategies states are adopting to combat it.