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The Dangerous Rise of K2: America's Cheapest High

Through the lens of volunteer ambulance corps and harm reduction specialists in the city's outer boroughs, VICE News gets a glimpse of the challenges New York City is facing with rising K2 use.

by VICE News
Oct 15 2015, 2:15am

K2 — the street name for plant matter sprayed with synthetic chemicals, designed to mimic the effects of marijuana's active ingredient — is currently America's cheapest way to get high. The drug is often sold at corner stores, labeled as potpourri and unfit for human consumption. A bag of K2 sells for $5 to $10, while a joint goes for just $1.

But the drug's dangerous side effects have taken a toll on a wide variety of communities across the country, particularly in New York City. US poison control centers received more than 6,000 K2 calls in the first nine months of 2015, around a quarter of those calls came from NYC.

VICE News gets a glimpse of the challenges New York City is facing with K2 through the lens of volunteer ambulance corps and harm reduction specialists in its outer boroughs.

Watch "Back from the Brink: Heroin's Antidote"

Read "NYPD Seize 2 million packets of Synthetic Drug K2 in Massive Bust"

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