K2 and Spice are herbal mixtures that try to mimic the effects of cannabis. They are marketed as being safe, because they are legal. Spice is known under many different names, but they are all essentially the same product. They are a herbal mixture, made up mainly of various shredded plants, to which various chemicals are added, which give the mind-altering and psychoactive effects. The chemicals are constantly monitored by various health organizations and made illegal, at which point the mixture is changed in order to keep the products legal.
Spice products are marketed as “natural”. Although they do indeed contain plant materials, their mind-altering effects come from synthetic products and various chemicals. Hence, Spice is not a natural drug at all.
Spice can be purchased online, gas stations, festivals, head shops and more. They are full of various chemicals, many of which are believed to be addictive. Synthetic drug addiction can happen from known names like K2 and Spice. Both certainly have a high potential to be abused and there are no known potential health benefits to taking them. This sets them apart from marijuana. The DEA has listed five chemicals that are often found in Spice as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This means it is illegal to sell, buy or process the products. Manufacturers, however, substitute the chemicals in their mixtures, thereby ensuring they do not actually break the law. As such, the DEA is constantly monitoring the changes and updating the list of banned substances. It is a veritable cat and mouse game.
K2 and Spice Abuse among Young People
K2 is mainly abused by young people, being second only to marijuana. It is known that boys prefer K2 to girls, with twice as many users. It is believed that this is due to the fact that it is easily accessible and because the products are marketed as being “natural”. Young people in particularly have a tendency to equate natural with safe. Another major point is that it is all but impossible to detect K2 or Spice in a standard drug test.
When smoking Spice, the effects are very similar to those experienced when using marijuana. This means mood is elevated, perception is altered and the body becomes relaxed. However, in many cases, Spice is much stronger than cannabis. Some users have reported extreme paranoia and anxiety and even hallucinations.
No scientific studies have yet taken place to determine what the effect of K2 is on the human brain. However, it is known that the same brain receptors are activated as with THC, which is the compound of marijuana that is psychoactive. However, it seems that Spice ingredients bind far stronger with the receptors, which means that the effects can be longer lasting and far more powerful, as well as being unpredictable. Furthermore, because it is hard to keep track of the chemicals used in the product, it is almost impossible to determine whether physical dependency can be created. It is known, however, that psychological dependence is very real and that this is particularly common in those who already have a psychiatric disorder.
What Is Known about Spice Addiction
Because of the ever-changing compounds in Spice, it is almost impossible to truly study it. However, a number of things are known from people have attended a Poison Control Center is that it can create the following symptoms:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Myocardial ischemia
- Heart attacks
Because of these symptoms, experts agree that it must be possible to become addicted to the chemicals as well. It is not known how the drugs affect overall health as the toxicity levels aren’t known either. However, one particular concern is that they may contain heavy metals, something that is currently being investigated.
If you are struggling with a possible K2 or Spice addiction, or known someone who is, then please contact Creative Care today. We will help you to identify what the root problem is and come up with a package of holistic care that includes detox, behavioral therapy and alternative therapies to help you regain control of your life. We do not offer one size fits all packages, instead looking at your individual needs and developing a treatment plan that suits those specific needs.