HYDE COUNTY, N.C. – At least 10 North Carolina prison inmates have been hospitalized for possible drug overdoses, according to WITN.
Officials said five inmates at Hyde Correctional Institution in Swanquarter were hospitalized on Wednesday and were showing signs of substance abuse.
Since then, five more were also treated at nearby hospitals, according to a Department of Public Safety spokesman.
Of the five inmates who were hospitalized on Wednesday, only one remained in the hospital on Thursday, according to the TV station. The conditions of the other five are uncertain.
Authorities suspect that synthetic cannabinoid, sometimes called “K2” or “Spice” was involved.
“Spice” and other similar synthetic drugs are often marketed as legal plant material coated with chemicals that are supposed to mimic the effects of marijuana.
“Since the exact compounds contained in synthetic cannabinoid products change so frequently, it’s often impossible for users to know exactly what they are putting in their body,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said last year after a rash of hospitalization in that state were linked to the substance.
Hyde Correctional Institution is a medium/minimum security men’s prison that has a capacity of 736.