San Diego police say officers are investigating several overdose incidents involving synthetic marijuana, also known as "spice" in downtown San Diego, which sickened at least six people Thursday.
These latest overdoses took place at several locations throughout downtown's East Village area.
Officials with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) say the first overdose was reported at 1:25 p.m. in the 1200 block of Imperial Avenue and involved three people -- two males and a female, all taken to UCSD Medical Center.
The second spice overdose was reported near Mission Brewery at 14th Avenue and L Street at 1:45 p.m. In that case, one man was sickened and taken to UCSD Medical Center.
Twenty minutes later, another spice overdose left a man sick at 1300 Imperial Avenue. SDFD officials say that patient was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital. At the same time, on 6th Avenue and L Street, another man overdosed on on the drug and was also taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital for treatment.
In all, six people were sickened in the suspected spice overdose incidents, SDFD officials confirmed. Officers with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and trolley station security officers helped the overdose patients in these cases as well.
The investigation is ongoing, with officials trying to determine if this case is linked to dozens of others reported throughout downtown San Diego in recent weeks.
Synthetic marijuana or spice can cause hallucination, psychosis and agitation.
The drug consists of dried plant material sprayed with laboratory-produced cannabinoids and is used as an alternative to smoking marijuana.
Synthetic marijuana is popular among teens and young adults and has been linked to altered mental status, increased heart rate and acute kidney injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Check back for updates on this developing story.