Back in the early to mid 2000s, new drugs hit the streets. Spice and K2 were supposed to be an alternative to marijuana and most importantly, a legal alternative. These synthetic substances, or designer drugs, soon became something different than how they was touted – they wasn’t safe after all and the emergency rooms told the stories of their adverse effects. Here is what you need to know about Spice and K2.

If you know someone who is abusing synthetic marijuana and has a dependence, it is imperative to get help. We can guide you through the process in order to help you or your loved one live a life free of drug abuse.

What Is Spice-K2?

Both Spice and K2 are synthetic forms of marijuana. The problem is that they are different from the natural version and are much stronger. In fact, they can be up to 50 times stronger than natural marijuana and can cause extreme side effects. For a while, these were found in places like convenience stores, novelty stores, head shops, and on the Internet where they were legal and easily accessed. This was especially tempting to young people who not only wanted to get high but had a way to do it legally. Yet, May 2016 marked the Psychoactive Substances Act. This ensured that it was illegal in all ways – manufacturing, supply, distribution, and consumption.

One of the reasons they are so dangerous is that while they mimic THC effects, the ingredients are engineered man-made chemical mixtures.

They do work similarly to THC by acting on the same receptors in the brain but the strength is so much stronger that the physical and mental reactions may be extreme.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA):

A synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, K2/Spice is a mixture of plant material sprayed with synthetic psychoactive chemicals. Often looks like potpourri and typically labeled “not for human consumption.” Dangerous to purchase from Internet because its origins and chemical amounts are unknown. The ingredients and strength of products containing synthetic cannabinoids are almost impossible for the user to know.

Signs and Side Effects of Spice and K2

The effects of Spice and K2 are similar to natural marijuana. These include relaxation and euphoria. Yet, the side effects are more extreme and include:

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tremors, muscle spams, or seizures
  • High blood pressure and increased heart rate
  • Suicidal behaviors and thoughts
  • Extreme anxiety and agitation
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Paranoia
  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations

Deaths have been reported due to heart attack and other symptoms and many have been hospitalized due to acute kidney injury.

Spice and K2 Statistics

According to the government’s drug abuse site:

In 2016, almost 3000 calls to poison control centers were due to exposure for these drugs.

Close to 29K emergency room visits in 2011 were linked to drugs that fall under the synthetic cannabinoids umbrella.

78 percent were within the age range of 12-29 years old with 70 percent males and 30 percent females.

177 different synthetic cannabinoids were reported in 2014.

Signs of Spice and K2 Abuse

Like many drugs, there are signs of abuse to be aware of. These include:indicators that are not physical but instead of certain mannerisms that some do when an addiction is present.

  • Mood Swings. This includes becoming hostile to others.
  • Poor Decisions. A person addicted to synthetic drugs may start to make poor life choices. This can include being riskier than usual and doing things they might not otherwise do.
  • Appearing High. This one is self-explanatory but is especially important if a drug test indicates no other drugs being present.
  • Physical Addiction Symptoms. These include insomnia, high heart rate, sweating, nightmares, and drug cravings.
  • Stealing. Stealing money or valuables is common among those addicted to most types of drugs.
  • Personality Changes. If you notice your teen becoming a different person than in the past, this may be indicative of being caught up in a dependence or addiction to drugs, including Spice or K2.

Treatment and Recovery From Synthetic Cannabinoids

Spice, K2, and other synthetic marijuana drugs are extremely dangerous. It is not only unpredictable but there are no natural ingredients. Instead, there are all kinds of chemicals used in these products. In fact, many manufacturers constantly change chemicals to avoid laws that specify certain ones.

If you or someone you love has a dependence on synthetic cannabinoids like Spice or K2, there is help and recovery options. In a treatment center like Transformations, we teach you to engage in healthier behaviors so that you are not dependent upon drugs. It is imperative to find out the reason why you or your loved one feels the need to take any kind of drugs to feel better and we strip away those layers to help discover ways to decrease triggers.

The first thing that is important is detoxification from the drug. This allows you to have fewer adverse side effects from withdrawal since you or your loved one is surrounded by trained medical professionals.

This stage of treatment can include medical monitoring and medications. In order to create a safer and more effective detox period than if you attempted to detox on your own.

A rehab transition is a possible next step. There are avenues that help such as individual counseling, family counseling, and even specialty services that help the patient make positive life changes.

A Customized Plan

At Transformations Treatment Center, we ensure that all of our patients get a customized plan. No person is like another so that is why it is crucial to work with each individual to find out what works best for them. Our programs include a holistic approach that focuses on how addiction affects family life, your body, and your mind. Contact us at Transformations Treatment Center to learn about the individualized treatment we can offer you.

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