Media Release

Public Health Emergency

Friday, May 30, 2014 8:45 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Health Department is investigating a surge in patients experiencing seizures associated with a synthetic form of marijuana, known among other names, as “spice”.  Yesterday, 6 patients were transported to a local hospital and today, 5 more are being treated.  “Citizens are advised that a toxic form of the drug is circulating in the Gainesville area.  Adverse health effects can be severe.” stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

Synthetic marijuana causes altered mental status. The chemicals used to create versions of the drug vary and can be toxic to humans.  The Alachua County Health Department is working closely with local law enforcement, hospitals and emergency medical services.

For general media inquiries, contact Paul Myers at 352-258-4300 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).