Author: Gary Jackson

Spice is more than a deadly drug it’s a window on our society Mike Power

Commercial advertising is often aimed at teens and young people to perpetuate the idea that synthetic cannabinoids are simply “natural and harmless” herbal mixtures. It can also be helpful to review the clinical criteria involved in diagnosing a substance use disorder. Mental health clinicians rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose all recognized substance use disorders. A person must have at least two of the 11 criteria for a period of 12 months to receive a diagnosis.

  • It reinforces abstinence by providing tangible incentives for drug-free behavior.
  • Addiction is a chronic illness, not a passing condition like a wound which will heal by itself.
  • JWH-018 is now a controlled substance in many countries under narcotics legislation.
  • To do so, they most often put the fake weed in foil packaging and label it as “incense” or “potpourri.” To avoid detection, they usually write “Not for Human Consumption” on the packaging.

Some people may use synthetic cannabinoids to attempt to avoid positive drug screens performed as a condition of employment, in substance abuse treatment programs, or in the criminal justice system. Because of the substantial risks of synthetic cannabinoids, many countries have already outlawed their production, possession and distribution. But it is unlikely that the “war on drugs” will show any sign of relenting, given the rapidly evolving nature of the recreational drugs market and the lack of globalised drug-control legislation. Only by working collectively can scientists, medical professionals and law makers help to stem the flow of these dangerous compounds before they pose a serious threat to health of vulnerable groups in society. Spice is actually a generic name that refers to a whole class of medicines called synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists, which control functions as fundamental as sleep, appetite and libido.

​​​​Guidance for Caregivers and Family Members

MentalHelp may receive marketing compensation from these companies should you choose to use their services. Residents described the affected people as looking zombie-like, having respiratory problems, and being mentally out of it. In May 2015, visits to New York emergency rooms for synthetic marijuana use was down by 85 percent, which is thought to be due to the ban. However, the July 2016 incident in Brooklyn shows that the ban is not 100 percent effective. JWH-018 is now a controlled substance in many countries under narcotics legislation. But the prevalence of next-generation synthetic cannabinoids – now known colloquially as Spice or Mamba – continue to be the largest group of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in common usage.

But, despite well-known issues, these drugs are still in demand and homeless people, particularly, are at risk of mental health issues from their use. So what exactly are these drugs made of and why do they cause such violent reactions. Spice is not a single drug, but a range of laboratory-made chemicals that mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Research suggests that Spice and other forms of synthetic cannabis are capable of producing much more intense and prolonged effects at much lower doses than natural cannabis. This is because, while the THC in natural cannabis only partially reacts with the body, synthetic cannabis reacts far more fully. John Huffman, a Harvard University educated chemist, is the father of the chemical formula for synthetic THC.

Spice Abuse Signs, Symptoms, Side Effects, and Addiction Treatment

Consequences of polydrug use with K2 can be speculated based on drug interactions with marijuana. Ease of access and the belief that the drug is a safe alternative to marijuana are contributing factors to the drug’s popularity among this population.

  • The brain has cannabinoid receptors because it naturally makes cannabinoids, but releases them in a much lower dose compared to THC levels in marijuana.
  • As the case examples reflect, sometimes dangerous side effects are immediate, and other times, they take longer to reach the point where medical intervention is necessary.
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  • If you meet the criteria above or have concerns about your use of Spice, you cannot handle this illness alone.