Sergeant Robert Kegler of the Horry County Police told local media outlet The Sun News that two Socastee students were also taken to the hospital on Friday, after the youths smoked what appeared to be synthetic marijuana. School staff reportedly witnessed one of the students, a female, having a seizure.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic marijuana "refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as 'safe,' legal alternatives." However, the products contain plant material and chemical additives and often have adverse medical side effects.
Synthetic marijuana, commonly sold in colorful packages under such names as "spice" or "K2," may be particularly appealing to teens, who can purchase the drug at many gas stations and convenience stores nationwide. According to a 2011 survey of high school seniors, one in nine reported using synthetic marijuana in the past year, making it the second-most-used illicit drug (behind marijuana) among high school students.