RGH: Patients taking M30, alert police
Rochester, N.Y. —
Doctors are trying figure out what mystery drug people are taking in recent days, causing at least nine people to visit Rochester General Hospital's Emergency Room.
Dr. Zafar Shamoon, D.O., emergency physician at RGH, said nurses at the hospital were quick to suspect something was wrong, when patient after patient kept coming into their emergency room with the same side effects over a four-day period.
"The crazy thing is the symptoms are very similar, the neck spasms, almost anxiety-type feeling."
They quickly learned all had taken the same pill. Now they want to know what it is.
"When we asked them to describe the pill, they describe it as a circular blue pill, it's speckled and has the imprint M30 on it," said Rachel Weber, Clinical Pharmacist Rochester Regional Health.
Dr. Shamoon and Weber said people thought they were buying Oxycodone; but instead, they got a drug called "M30." It's very similar in look, but what's in it, is a mystery.
"This is a new trend so some of the medications they're using to make these pills are actually cheaper in costs, so that's why I believe they're doing this now," said Weber.
That has Helen Vanderlan, addiction therapist at Unity Chemical Dependency, worried.
"The fact that there's yet another substance in that class of drugs that's popping up is just unfortunately another moment we're having in terms of drug use in the area."
Vanderlan said the drug of choice in our area varies on a regular basis, all based on supply and demand.
This drug, though, something police don't typically see. That is until Dr. Shamoon alerted them.
"Anything that we identify early, we can let them know early. We never want to deal with the problem after the fact. We try to get ahead of the game and I think that's exactly what happened here."
Dr. Shamoon credits the nurses with catching the similarities and bringing it to police's attention.
In other states, the drug has been found to contain heroin.
The hospital, unfortunately, does not have any of the pills patients had taken. They are testing blood and urine samples of the patients to see what is in the drug. Those results could be in as soon as this week.