The Spice drug (also known as K2, among other names) is a psychoactive substance referred to as a synthetic cannabinoid. It is much more powerful and dangerous than marijuana. Spice can cause severe anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and, occasionally, even death. This substance has the potential for addiction and can result in highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit.
People who use the spice drug can also experience extreme agitation, vivid hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and destructive behaviors. It can also cause a variety of other side effects, including nausea and vomiting and severe organ damage.
What Is the Spice Drug?
Synthetic cannabinoids don’t actually contain marijuana. Instead, they include a wide variety of human-made chemicals designed to simulate the effects of THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
Synthetic cannabinoids attach to the same brain receptors that THC does. However, as noted, they are much more potent than marijuana, and use can result in profound mental and physical effects.
Spice is usually sprayed or sprinkled onto dried plants or herbs and smoked. Spice looks like marijuana, and can also be found as a liquid that can be vaporized.
Synthetic marijuana is usually sold in colorful pouches or plastic bottles embellished with catchy names. Spice and K2 are two of the first brand names for synthetic marijuana, but hundreds of brand names now exist.
To evade investigation by law enforcement, makers of synthetic marijuana often falsely market their products as incense or potpourri. The packaging often states that the product is not for human consumption.
How Addictive Is the Spice Drug?
Synthetic marijuana is considered to be highly addictive, and those who use it regularly may encounter withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly continue use. Withdrawal symptoms tend to resemble those of marijuana, including depression, anxiety, headaches, and irritability. Those who are addicted to the Spice drug may also experience intense cravings, heart palpitations, excessive sweating, increased blood pressure, and insomnia.
The manner in which synthetic marijuana interacts with brain chemicals likely accounts for why it’s so addictive. Studies have shown that the drug attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain up to 100 times more tightly than THC does.
The addictive potential of synthetic marijuana and the severity of its effects have caused many people to state that it is more closely comparable to crack or meth.
Effects of Spice
Adverse reactions to synthetic marijuana are not uncommon. Overdosing on the drug can cause psychosis and irreversible organ damage. Knowing the signs and symptoms of synthetic marijuana abuse may help identify when someone you love is abusing or addicted to this drug.
Common side effects of synthetic marijuana include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Accelerated heart rate
- Anxiety and severe agitation
- Suicidal ideations/actions
- Muscle spasms
- Bruising and bleeding
Also, reports of overdose and death have transpired each year since Spice first became available. It’s tough to predict the consequences of using this drug because each batch is different, and each individual can experience a unique reaction. Even just a single dose of Spice can be lethal. Combining the drug with alcohol or other drugs is even more hazardous.
Since the drug is relatively new, not much is known about the long-term effects of abusing the Spice drug. However, the drug’s diversity in ingredients poses health risks for those who experiment and take the substance on a regular basis.
Irreversible brain damage, kidney damage, psychotic events, and hallucinations are some of the likely side effects caused by abusing this drug over a prolonged period. Other side effects that could develop into chronic conditions and health problems for people who use Spice include depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Long-term effects of Spice may also include cardiovascular, neurological, and mental health problems, all of which may be permanent.
Treatment for Spice Drug Addiction
Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a comprehensive, research-based approach to the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. Our programs are customized to meet each individual’s needs and goals. We provide the services necessary to ensure that our clients receive all the tools and support they need to recover and experience long-lasting sobriety and wellness.
Our skilled and caring staff are dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive the most effective treatment available. Treatments include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Substance abuse education
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Health and wellness education
- Aftercare planning
If you are prepared to take back your life and free yourself from the shackles of addiction once and for all, contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options! We help those who need it most get on the path to a substance-free life and foster the health and satisfaction they deserve!