Spice, also known as K2 or “synthetic (manmade) marijuana,” is not nice. News stories tell of some really bad effects, like one teen who was paralyzed after using the drug. And the deaths of 3 young people earlier this year in Iowa were also linked to Spice.
With marijuana use continuing to rise and more states considering making it legal, it is important to get the word out that Spice is not fake marijuana. Calling Spice “fake pot” is just a marketing ploy to attract people to try it, making them believe that it is something familiar.
In fact, some effects of Spice are much more intense than those of marijuana. Some users experience extreme anxiety, paranoia (believing someone is out to get you), and hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that aren’t real).
People also report a fast heart rate, vomiting, agitation, and confusion. Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart, and in a few cases it has been linked with heart attacks. People who use it a lot may experience withdrawal and addiction symptoms.
Marijuana does not cause paralysis like in the Texas teen. Spice needs to be treated as a dangerous drug in its own right, not just a manmade form of marijuana.
The good news is that Spice use is down, especially among high school seniors, who seem to be getting the message that it’s not a drug to mess with. That’s one particularly bright spot in NIDA’s 2013 Monitoring the Future statistics.
Visit DrugFacts: Spice for more information.