While the war on drugs has been ongoing for several decades, certain types of harmful substances have fallen through the cracks. One of them is “spice,” a street name that refers to synthetic marijuana. While it is sold all over the United States, most of its incarnations are actually illegal. However, just as the law succeeds in outlawing a specific variety of spice, another is created by back-street chemists hoping for big profits. Because it is synthesized to have a chemical structure similar to marijuana, people assume it must be safe. On the contrary, using spice can prove extremely dangerous, and in some cases, even fatal.
Because spice is entirely illegal, those that manufacture it often come up with dangerous chemical mixtures to create their own unique version of it, without oversight to monitor them or test the substance to ensure its safety. Some manufacturers intentionally lace their mixtures with dangerous ingredients that can poison people, with one example being nail polish remover. Sometimes, they simply produce spice using equipment contaminated by hazardous chemical residues. In either case, the poisonous substances can be passed on to those who try it.
The Side Effects of Spice
Spice is so addictive that some people compare it to the more infamous drugs cocaine and heroin. It causes severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms that require a person to be admitted to a drug rehab center. While using this substance, people may experience seizures, kidney failure, and insomnia. It may cause a complete loss of appetite, which can result in extreme weight loss.
Mental health may also be seriously affected. Hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts can become prevalent. But the most serious health consequences of this drug are the effects that it has on the heart. Heart palpitations, tachycardia, and reduced blood flow to the heart, which can lead to a heart attack, can all occur as a result of spice usage. Many have died as a result of using spice because it caused their heart to stop working.
The Importance of Drug Recovery From Spice
It takes at least a week to get through the withdrawal symptoms of spice, a process which causes nausea, vomiting, and additional weight loss. It can be very dangerous for a person to try to sober up without supervision, which is why anyone hoping to quit should enroll in an addiction recovery program for help. A drug treatment facility will have staff members who are experienced in dealing with both mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. They can help a person survive the difficult withdrawal process, so they can finally have a chance for sobriety.
The Lasting Damage of Spice
Even after discontinuing usage of this drug, a person may still continue to be affected by it. It can cause long-term damage to the brain, which may lead to hallucinations and psychotic episodes that can occur for months after usage of the drug has been discontinued. Some people experience worsening depression that may even cause them to commit suicide. And while it may be less common, there have been instances where spice users become homicidal due to the damage done by the drug. The best way to manage the potential long-term effects is to find an drug recovery program that can anticipate and plan for the lasting damage spice may have left.
Prevention is Best
To avoid the potential health risks of spice, any shape or form of this drug should be ignored. An addiction to spice can occur as the result of only one use. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to spice, contact Intervention Association to find a substance abuse treatment center that can help you overcome your addiction in a safe and monitored environment.