The "New Drug." Effecting teens and adults everywhere!
As a parent it is incredibly naive to think our children are innocent all the time. It is also extremely naive to think that because we don't see the ' normal ' signs or drug paraphernalia that generally accompanies drug use that it doesn't exist in unusual forms.
One doesn't need to look too far to find them, for they are on the shelves of many local convenience stores all across the country. The 'new drug' is called " Spice or K2." It is also referred to by Doctors and law enforcement agencies as " synthetic marijuana." It's allure is that while it mimics the high of marijuana, it is undetectable in any drug testing. So basically, this drug is for anyone craving the effects of getting high but who are trying to appear drug free or are afraid to fail a drug test. Not to mention it's cheaper, legal and available almost everywhere.
The drug was originally created with the hopes of a legalized alternative for the use of marijuana with medical patients. Unfortunately it is unclear how it ended up on the shelves of local gas stations and convenience stores, but it has. The spice is a mix of herbs and spices that have been sprayed with a synthetic chemical. Most user's prefer to smoke the spice in a flavored blunt wrap but it has been reported that some prefer to use it as a tea.
The marketers of this "incense" as it is sometimes referred to, are very creative in their packaging and brand names. If you look behind the cashier at your local gas station or convenience store you will see a variety of small foil packages with very colorful pictures. Names like, " sexy monkey, scooby doo, and jersey shaw are just a few. The manufacturer has also protected themselves with a small warning on the back stating " NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION." How clever.
In 2010 more than 4,500 cases of use were reported to the The American Association of Poison Control Centers, ( www.webmd.com) Hospital Emergency rooms across the country have also seen an increase in emergency room visits by teens and young adults who have suffered severe to fatal outcomes of smoking synthetic marijuana. The symptoms range from elevated blood pressure, sever mood and mental status changes, hallucinations and attempted suicide. According to a news report by CBS News more than 11,400 people were seen in Emergency Rooms in 2010 for ingesting synthetic marijuana. One-third of the patients were between the age of 12-17. While most were treated for symptoms and released Doctors have stated they do not have enough information regarding the drug to determine long term effects. It has been just recently under investigation and there may be links of using synthetic weed with Kidney disease and long term Psychosis. It is also highly addictive, doctors have noted that patients exhibit similar symptoms during detoxing as with narcotic addictions.
While some claim it is not at epidemic proportions, it is a real problem. While 41 states have banned the sale of Synthetic marijuana there is still a few who have yet to follow suit. It's still easy to obtain and some have resorted to selling it out of their homes to avoid prosecution.
So parents beware. This information became available to me after a family member confided in me that they are addicted. It has destroyed them. Please educate yourselves and your children to the dangers of this " New drug " before it grabs onto someone you love.