Synthetic Drug Use Leading To Large Hospital Bills 7/25/13
July 25, 2013
“Stop, stop, get help!” Exclaims Jonathan Venable.
He wants anyone who is using or thinking about using synthetic drugs to learn from his mistake.
“I didn’t realize that impact because they were quote legal,” he said.
The dangers of the drugs are well documented at this point, but that danger can lead to debt. Venable owes over 100,000 dollars to hospitals from two, five day stints in intensive care from using bath salts.
“But, it ended up being ten times worse than anything illegal,” he said.
Synthetic drugs are so powerful, that they’re putting people in the hospitals for long periods of time, as it can take days to treat an overdose.
“We really saw it come on the scene in Odessa last summer and since then there’s been a consistent trend of abuse,” said Andrew Pinnow, an Emergency Physician at Medical Center Hospital.
Pinnow says there’s no real test for synthetic drugs, which makes treatment more difficult when a patient comes through their doors. The patients typically don’t have insurance.
“It’s a problem. It’s a burden on the health system,” he said.
Which means tax payers could end up footing the bill, if people who receive treatment like Venable can’t pick up their tab.