If you’re a teenager or young adult, chances are good that you know what Spice is. And if you’re the parent of a teenager or young adult, it is important for you to be aware of its effects since your child may be exposed to it through friends or may be using it. Symptoms of spice addiction are responses to the chemical make up of the drug.
One of a number of chemical substances that have been touted as “legal highs,” Spice continues to grow in popularity largely because it’s said to mimic the effects of marijuana without showing up on drug tests or technically being against the law. How is that possible? The manufacturers are careful to avoid the specific chemicals that are on the “controlled” list and find ways to create highs from substances that have yet to be banned (National Institutes of Health).
With a name like “Spice”, this is a drug that doesn’t sound very threatening, but the name is deceiving. People who use Spice have experienced all kinds of negative side effects, including things like hypertension, nausea, and psychotic episodes (National Institutes of Health). But it goes beyond those relatively minor problems. In one study of six users, two reported hallucinations and two experienced seizures (U.S. National Library of Medicine). A third Spice user experienced convulsions in Europe (National Institutes of Health). It has even been associated with heart attacks (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
In short, Spice is a drug (also known as K2) and is dangerous. While it works similarly to marijuana, the chemicals in Spice bond in a stronger way, and little research has been done on what that means in terms of long-term damage. That’s why it’s so important to watch out for spice addiction symptoms in yourself and others.
What Are the Symptoms of Spice Addiction?
Until recently, it has been difficult to prove that someone was using Spice without actually catching them in the act of using. This is because drug tests hadn’t quite caught up with detecting the synthetic chemicals that make up the various forms of Spice. Today, people can be tested for Spice use, but there are also other things to watch out for.
Some of the most common symptoms of Spice addiction include:
- Constant cravings
- A lack of interest in work, school, or friends
- Violent or threatening actions
In addition to this, it’s important to keep an eye out for Spice itself. Unlike with marijuana and other drugs, Spice is frequently sold in bright, colorful packages as “incense.” Because it looks completely normal and legal, many users don’t even bother to hide it because they don’t expect anyone to notice. But Spice is very dangerous, and as of 2011, it’s also illegal in America (Drug Enforcement Administration). If you or someone you know is abusing Spice, help them seek treatment as soon as possible.
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