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K2 Herb: The New Marijuana?
Also known as "Mr. Smiley" and "Spice," to those familiar with the herb, K2's ingredients are virtually unknown. That, in itself, ought to be enough to dissuade people from using it. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
Foreign companies that sell the herb say, it is sold as an incense; however... the herb's growing use is, as a legal drug. Reportedly, the herb is being smoked in the same way one smokes marijuana. It's been said, that... the high one gets from the herb is comparable in nature (or better, even) to marijuana.
Let's start with the facts. K2 is legal in the majority of the U.S. It is not FDA-regulated; therefore... it's a virtual unknown as to what K2's real ingredients are. It is a foreign-made product and is said to be easy to make, thus procuring a mass amount of money for the makers. There have been numerous accounts of people being sickened by this herb (when smoked). Reports include individuals with sweating, nausea, seizures, paralysis, even death.
The symptoms one experiences during a K2 high may include sweating, nausea, slurred speech, uncoordination, aggressiveness, inappropriate and excessive laughter, seizures and paralysis... to name a few. As an onlooker of a person with a K2 high, the characteristics of their behavior and their attitude are a lot like those of a person who is drunk, on marijuana or any other, illegal drug.
K2 has been reported to have caused problems with one's heart... including irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke.
It is said, that... the age group that is most affected by this herb, is 15-30. The teen years are, obviously, a pivotal time for experimentation of many, unapproved-of and sometimes illegal activities and substances. The word on the street, is... that, K2 is a "safe" and "natural" alternative to marijuana. Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.
As parents of teenagers (and even younger children), we need to make sure our kids know ALL of the risks associated with drug use... whether it is legal or not. As long as there are legal drugs (which there always will be), there will be those whose aim it is to see how far they can push these drugs, as well as their own bodies. As parents, and educators, we tend to view drugs as the hardcore examples... heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. The truth of the matter, is... there are many, different legal drugs out there that are being abused every day. There are prescription meds, cleaning products/solvents, school glue, fingernail polish remover, anything in an aerosol can and on, and on. Things we probably haven't even thought about or heard of... like K2.
There is, as of yet, no known way one can distinguish the behaviors/symptoms of one abusing K2, as opposed to any other drug. Discovery of a person's abuse of the herb comes, ironically, from the person, themselves... if at all. The most important thing, is for parents to educate their children, and others, about K2 and it's "real" use, as a legal drug... making sure they realize that, this is not a harmless substance, but one that can, and will, cause very real damage... possibly even lifelong damage, and even death.
Make sure your child's teachers and administrators are aware of, and well-informed of, K2 and other, similar substances.
The only way to deal with issues such as this, is to educate, educate, educate our children. Unfortunately, it will take time for such illicit substances to be monitored or banned by the government. In the meantime, parents and educators need to take the lead and equip our children with all the knowledge possible to combat these "evils," so that they can make the right decisions in confidence, concerning such choices. That is how this legal monster will be beat... through education.