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Panel discusses overdose epidemic of K2 in Willimantic

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WILLIMANTIC -- There's a battle police are fighting in Willimantic. It's over the use of synthetic marijuana, also known as K2.

The drug is causing an overdose epidemic in the area and it's the reason behind a community forum about substance abuse that will take place Tuesday at Eastern Connecticut State University.

K2 is illegal in Connecticut yet it still finds its way into communities.

The potent drug produces a high that can cause extreme nervousness, increased heartbeat/blood pressure and hallucinations.

In September, Willimantic Police responded to  seven overdoses in one day, stemming from K2.

In July officers reported that 12 overdoses also occurred in one single day.

In May officers responded to ECSU where they found a 22-year-old female college student running around aimlessly, in and out of traffic, while taking her clothes off.

It was also in May when several people were arrested after nearly a dozen people were sent to the hospital after police believe they ingested K2 which was likely laced with other drugs.

All of those problems have led to Tuesday's community forum.

A panel featuring medical experts, first responders and people in recovery led the discussion over the dangers of K2 as well as heroin and prescription drug abuse.

The group met to discuss ways in which the community can work together to improve the situation. The forum took place Tuesday night at the Student Union inside the Betty Tipton at Eastern Connecticut State University.