There are likely a lot more people who would smoke marijuana if they didn’t have concerns about not being able to pass a drug test…and then along came Spice. It relieved those worries because now anyone who wanted a “weed like” high could have one and still test clean for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With no legal risks involved, anyone over the age of 18 can walk into a head shop or some gas stations and pick up the herbal compound called Spice.
Most adults learn about Spice from teens who have already tried it and are quick to offer advice on which brand to buy and which brands got them so high that they just sat there “spacing out.” Whatever you want to call it–Spice, Posh, or K2– it is dangerous, addictive, cheap, and very popular. Many see Spice as a safe alternative to marijuana when in fact, it is not.
What Is Spice?
Spice, one of the new designer drugs on the market, is a combination of herbal material and synthetic cannabinoids. When inhaled, Spice damages the lungs and the respiratory system. Spice is so damaging that many countries have made the synthetic additives that are found in Spice illegal. There are also states that are following suit and trying diligently to get Spice off of the market. Even though the label clearly reads that the product is not safe for human consumption, people are still eager to use it. It is loaded with the synthetic chemicals HU-210 and JWH-018.
Spice is even more perilous because of the way that it is produced and the fact that it does not have to have FDA approval. It is produced in environments similar to in-home meth labs. It has to answer to absolutely zero regulations. If home labs run out of one ingredient they can substitute it for any other ingredient of their liking. This means that those who use Spice have no idea what they are getting.
Side effects are the likely reasons why there are so many Spice-related emergency room visits annually. It is known to cause heart palpitations, panic attacks, delusions, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and weakened motor coordination. It will not take long before a full-blown addiction occurs. A Spice addiction is like any other addiction and includes compulsively seeking it out and ignoring negative health and personal consequences.
Spice addiction requires formal treatment like any other addiction. Withdrawal from Spice is also likely where individuals will suffer from trembling, tremors, panic, headache, nausea, heart palpitations, agitation, insomnia, vomiting, and depression. While none of these symptoms are considered to be life threatening, the process of withdrawal from Spice is nothing short of uncomfortable. Individuals who are abusing Spice should be treated in a professional care facility under medical supervision. Usually, addiction of any kind is intertwined with some kind of mental problem. Inpatient treatment can treat both the addiction and the concurring disorder.
Spice and other designer drugs such as Bath Salts are being abused more and more. Spice has already caused deaths and hospitalization. Specialists in the field of treating addiction now have to learn even more about these new drugs and how to treat people. This is even more concerning since many of the ingredients are unknown. Some of these designer drugs are even causing psychosis in some people and irreparable brain damage.
Spice may not show up on a drug test but it might show up on an MRI or some other brain scan image. That should account for something. Anything that is labeled as not for human consumption might be wise to avoid.
Cheryl Hinneburg writes web content for KLEAN Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. KLEAN specializes in offering dual diagnosis drug and alcohol treatment. Cheryl is currently pursuing her MS in Substance Abuse Counseling.