Spice/K2 are synthetic cannabinoids or man-made mind-altering chemicals sold as a liquid to be vaporized or inhaled through e-cigarettes. It is also sprayed on shredded and dried plant material to be smoked. Another name for synthetic cannabinoids is liquid or herbal incense.
Since these are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana, they are also sold as fake weed or synthetic marijuana. Often marketed as safe and legal alternatives to cannabis, in reality, these are unsafe for use and may cause much more damage to the brain than actual pot.
As there is no approved or regulated process of manufacturing synthetic cannabinoids, their effects can be unpredictable. These may get serious or even life-threatening at times.
Synthetic cannabinoids are categorized under a group of drugs known as new psychoactive substances (NPS). These are mind-altering, unregulated substances which have recently become available. Professed to produce the same effects as that by illegal drugs, some of them may have been around for ages but were reintroduced in the market because of their increased popularity or changed chemical composition.
NPS are generally sold in colorful plastic bottles and foil packets to lure customers. They are available under a variety of names like “Kronic”, “Kush”, “Black Mamba”, ”Jocker”, etc. These are easily available in novelty stores, drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations, and over the internet.
Because of the absence of any medical benefit and high risk of abuse, it is illegal to buy, possess or sell synthetic cannabinoids. However, the manufacturers dupe the authorities by changing the chemical composition of these products often to dodge identification. Easy availability and a belief that these compounds are natural and thus, harmless have sparked a high use ratio among adolescents, teens, and young adults. Additionally, since the compounds present in them do not get screened in standard drug tests, these products allow teen users to get away.
Synthetic cannabinoids act on the same receptors in the brain as those affected by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is a mind-altering substance present in marijuana. Even though there is a dearth of data investigating the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the brain, researchers have hypothesized that these can produce random, but, dangerous effects. Also, since the chemical composition of most of these synthetic cannabinoids is not known and may vary from one batch to another, these substances are likely to contain chemicals that may produce dramatically different results as opposed to a user’s expectation. Some of the effects produced by the use of NPS, similar to those produced by marijuana, are:
Psychotic effects could be:
As the effects of synthetic cannabinoids cannot be anticipated, the identification of their use depends on expert medical review. Teens, who have been rushed to the emergency room (ER) following the use of synthetic cannabinoids, have been found to be suffering from:
The use of synthetic cannabinoids is also linked with an increasing number of deaths.
Synthetic cannabinoids can also cause addiction. Withdrawal symptoms experienced by regular users include:
An addiction to spice/K2 may be triggered by an underlying mental disorder, behavioral problem, or substance abuse. It is essential to recognize the underlying cause to be able to treat the addiction effectively. So far, none of the behavioral therapies and medications have been approved for the treatment of addiction to synthetic cannabinoids. However, therapies and medications used to manage the triggers, like depression, anxiety or drug and alcohol use, are known to help with the addiction also.
Despite its toxicity and danger, spice/K2 is being increasingly abused by teens because of its easy availability and instant effects. A comprehensive treatment for spice/K2 addiction includes medically assisted detoxification treatment followed by targeted behavioral therapies, counseling and other proven treatment options. Considered the first step in addiction treatment, supervised detox programs at certified spice/K2 detox centers, like those of ADEONA Healthcare, can help control the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prepare the teen for the ensuing course of treatment.
Following a successful detox, teens must undergo behavioral therapies to uncover any hidden physical or mental causes behind their addiction. Since most of the effects of synthetic marijuana are related to the brain, treatment must include cognitive restoration as well as physical rehabilitation therapies to help the teen learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with life stressors after the treatment.
ADEONA Healthcare is an experienced and licensed provider of treatment for addiction to spice/K2 for adolescents and teens aged 12-17. We believe in providing holistic treatment for an addiction through psychotherapy and experiential therapies, like art, yoga, meditation, and exercises. We provide a safe, secure, and non-confrontational environment so that the teens can focus on their recovery without fearing judgment.
ADEONA Healthcare is the leading provider of treatment for substance abuse, mental health disorders, and co-occurring disorders. We customize treatment plans according to the specific requirements of our young patients to ensure lasting recovery for them.
To know more about how ADEONA Healthcare utilizes research-backed treatment modalities to offer the best in treatment for addiction to spice/K2, call our 24/7 hotline (888) 379-9360. You can even chat online with a representative for further assistance.