Spice or K2 are street names for synthetic marijuana, a dangerous man-made substance mimicking the effects of THC. Learn more about spice addiction and treatment.
Spice—also known as K2—is a psychoactive substance people use to experience a high. While some people refer to Spice as synthetic marijuana, technically it is closer to a synthetic cannabinoid.
What’s the difference? A cannabinoid is a whole class of chemical compounds that affects cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Specifically, the chemicals in spice have similarities to marijuana’s psychoactive cannabinoid THC, rather than being similar to the marijuana plant. In plant form marijuana contains approximately 113 cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are natural compounds, however spice includes manmade chemicals. These chemicals are manufactured to resemble tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Spice is most commonly smoked though it can be used in liquid form or edibles.
Spice use has become problematic, as people have experienced overdose, severe bleeding and other serious side effects from its use. It can also lead to dependence and addiction. Have you or someone you love been using spice? If you want to stop using it, a treatment program can help.
Since they are similar to cannabinoids, the chemicals found in spice work with the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain. People have experienced similar sensations from using spice as those from marijuana use. These include a change in perception and calming effects.
While the synthetic cannabinoid spice may provide some similarities to marijuana and THC, it is more intense. Its potency is 50 to 100 times higher than THC. This increased potency can lead to potentially dangerous side effects such as psychosis, vomiting and even death.
Another danger is that spice changes in form. As law enforcement cracks down on one form, sellers often change it and release a new form. It has become a pattern that a synthetic cannabinoid chemical will be made illegal, and in response sellers release new chemicals that have not yet been identified and made illegal. This pattern can be dangerous because you don’t know what you’re getting in each batch. You could be using new chemicals over time that come with different potential for side effects. Some batches have been found laced with rat poison or opioids.
When you use spice over and over, it’s possible that you’ll develop a tolerance to it, causing you to need more of the substance to gain the same effects you previously experienced from a lower dose. Spice is also associated with dependence, which is characterized by your brain and body getting used to functioning with some form of synthetic cannabinoid in your system. You might experience withdrawal symptoms—such as irritability, headaches or anxiety—when you stop using it, as your body adapts to no longer functioning with the substance.
Also, using this drug could change your behaviors in a way that’s consistent with addiction. Continued use of this drug will lead to addiction. Especially if it’s causing financial, social or other problems in your life. You might keep taking more, taking more than you meant to and continually focus on using the drug and getting more of it. These are just some of the signs of a spice addiction.
If you have developed tolerance, dependence and/or addictive behaviors from using spice, a treatment program can help you get past the effects the substance is having on your body and mind. It can also teach you healthier behaviors that don’t rely on drug use.
Treatment for spice would be similar to that for other addictive substances. You could start by entering a detox program that makes it easier for you to get past any withdrawal symptoms. 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.
Next, you could transition into a rehab program. During rehab treatment, you would work on changing the addictive behaviors you have developed from the ongoing drug use. Through individual therapy, family therapy and other methods, you can work through what led you to addiction. Thus learning to stop using the substance to cope with the difficulties of life. You can learn healthier ways to manage life, so you don’t go back to substance use.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we provide detox and rehab programs that can empower you on your path of recovery. We individualize our plans so they fit your life and increase your chance of success with recovery. Our programs take a holistic approach that addresses the ways addiction affects your mind, body, spirit and family life.
We offer detox through our Summit Detox facility. At Summit you can take part in our partial hospitalization, outpatient or intensive outpatient programs. We provide different levels and tracks to make sure you’re getting the right care for your unique needs. When you have completed our rehab program, we will help you continue with recovery in our aftercare program. The aftercare program is designed to offer ongoing support and a lifeline if you need it.
Spice can be a dangerous drug to keep using. Its effects unpredictable and potentially dangerous. As well as its long-term use can result in suicidal ideation, psychosis and other serious psychiatric concerns. It can also lead to addiction. Quitting spice can prevent you from experiencing the risks of this drug. This will allow you have a healthier life that’s not dependent on drug use. Contact us at Transformations Treatment Center to learn about the individualized treatment we can offer you.