Downtown St. Louis being hit by a wave of drug overdoses

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A drug downtown is causing dozens of people to overdose.

Since Monday EMS crews have gotten the call for more than 50 drug overdoses in just a small corner of the city.

Witnesses said it looked like a scene out of a zombie movie, people seizing on the sidewalks and wandering in the streets.

Overdose after overdose, all in the area of 13th and Locust near the New Life Evangelistic Center.

Wednesday, the center got a notice from the City of St. Louis to close the doors citing a lack of occupancy permit.

Center director Larry Rice said they are appealing that notice.

St. Louis fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the drug hits fast and they think people are doing it together because multiple overdoses are happening at the same time.

He said the drug is being sold as incense or bath salts, but are laced with a chemical synthetic.

"They are taking standard herbs if you will oregano sweet basil all different kinds of stuff and they take it to where it looks a little bit like marijuana or it looks like a salt product and then they lace it with a synthetic," said Jenkerson.

Jenkerson said people are smoking this and then having seizures, vomiting, and cardiac problems.

Chad Sabora runs a reform and recovery center.  He is also recovering drug addict, and is familiar with the drugs passing through the streets of St. Louis, saying this is the first time he has ever seen this here.

Sabora said what makes this drug scary is an antidote like Narcan can't help.

"This is a new world you`re getting body temperatures of 104 -105 people going insane that is what some of these synthetics do to you, that is what causes the high that`s what it does to the internal organ," said Sabora.

Police are still trying to figure out where exactly this drug is being sold.