GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - According to the Harrison County coroner, his office is currently investigating multiple deaths believed to be spice related. He's calling it the worst thing they've ever dealt with.
One Gulfport man is thankful he isn't one of those cases. He says he's lucky to be alive after a near death experience with the drug.
"It wasn't nothing I could do. I wasn't in control. I wasn't myself. I had to go back and review the tape myself to see what happened," said Tramaine Johnson.
Johnson said it's hard to watch that video, but it's the only way he can recall what happened during that terrifying ordeal.
"At first I was upset about it, because I didn't want nobody to see me at my worst like that. Then I kind of grounded myself and was like, no, people need to see this. They need to see what it's really doing to people," said Johnson.
His friends called 911 after spending nearly five hours trying to calm him down. Johnson said he woke up in the hospital, strapped down. He was told his heart stopped twice.
"I was just coming out chillin' with the fellas, everybody was smoking, and I picked up and hit a spice blunt, and when I hit it I just left this world," said Johnson.
Johnson had smoked spice before, so he thought he knew what to expect.
"It's an out this world high, out of space high, uncontrollable high, unpredictable high," said Johnson.
Unpredictable it was. Despite his friends' best efforts, they had no way of controlling him.
"He was hurting from the inside. He was screaming like he was having a heart attack, grabbing himself, crying. I don't know, it was just breaking my heart to see him like that because I never seen him like that," said Kimberly Domio.
Both Johnson and his friend feel like spice is becoming the drug of choice in South Mississippi, and may be even more popular than marijuana. But he wants people to know the effects can be dangerous and deadly.
"I just want to help raise awareness, because it really is killing people. It ain't worth dying trying to get high," said Johnson.
Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said his office is currently waiting on several toxicology reports to confirm what is believed to be multiple spice deaths over the past month in South Mississippi.