Even though it is illegal in the United States, spice is widely available to those who want to find it. It is a relatively new drug that is popular among teens and young adults. Unfortunately, spice is addictive and causes many serious side effects.
If your loved one is abusing spice, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. For many years, New Life House’s sober living facility has helped young men overcome addiction. To set your loved one on the path to recovery, call us today at (888) 357-7577.
What Is Spice?
Spice is a combination of synthetic cannabinoid compounds and natural herbs. The drug goes by many aliases. Some of these include herbal incense, fake pot, synthetic cannabis, and synthetic marijuana. Spice products are often marketed as “all natural.” However, this is simply false advertising. This substance is not all natural as it contains synthetic cannabinoids. These manmade chemicals can cause serious side effects and pose potential health risks.
The synthetic cannabinoids found in spice are highly addictive. As such, they cause severe withdrawal symptoms. They are absent of medicinal properties. Some of these chemicals include JWH-018, JWH-073, HU-210, and CP 47497.
Most of the addictive ingredients in spice are Schedule I controlled substances. In the ratings by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Schedule 1 drugs are the most dangerous. In addition to these substances, spice producers are constantly coming up with variations of synthetic cannabinoids. These are legal to sell and produce similar effects.
Spice is commonly abused by teens and young adults in the U.S. The drug mimics the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found normally in marijuana. THC latches onto cannabinoid receptors in the brain to produce its known psychoactive effects. The chemicals found in spice latch onto these same receptors. However, they produce much more extreme effects.
Our staff at New Life House can educate you further about the dangers of spice and its effects on your loved one. Contact us today to set up an appointment.
How Is Spice Used?
Spice is commonly smoked either by rolling it in papers or using a bong or pipe. Some will mix the drug with marijuana. Other users might obtain it in liquid form to use in an electronic cigarette or vaporizer. People even drink spice infused into an herbal tea. Users often experiment with these different routes of administration to attain faster and more intense highs.
In the United States, compounds used in synthetic cannabis were not under regulation by the government until the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act passed in July of 2012. However, there are legal ways to purchase the drug because of the countless variations of ingredients.
People can buy spice from gas stations, smoke shops, on the street, and even over the internet. Some of the most common brand names spice is sold under include K2, Moon Rocks, Fake Weed, Mojo, and Yucatan Fire. Each batch varies in color but is usually a mixture of brown, red, and cream. It has a chemical smell and looks like a mixture of dried plant matter and household herbs.
It’s possible that your loved one is using spice in discrete ways you’re not aware of, or in conjunction with other dangerous drugs. We can diagnose their abuse and build a treatment plan together. Contact us today for your first appointment.
Is Spice Addictive?
Medical professionals and government agencies have classified synthetic cannabis as addictive. The chemicals in spice work much like THC found in marijuana by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brand. The chemicals in spice, however, are stronger. They can lead to extreme, unpredictable highs.
Users will crave these effects the more they use the drug. This can cause them to become dependent and lead to serious addiction problems. When users try to come off spice, the withdrawal symptoms make the possibility of relapse more likely.
Not every spice user will realize they have an addiction. It’s important for your loved one to receive the help they need. New Life House specializes in guiding spice addicts towards lifelong recovery.
Why Is Spice Called the Zombie Drug?
This alias for spice is appropriate for this scary drug. Even though the drug is known to cause feelings of euphoria and relaxation, it can also impede the respiratory system. This leads to low oxygen levels, causing the body to shut down. It results in addicts presenting themselves in a “zombie” state.
Abusers have been reported to freeze in place, walk around aimlessly, and even pass out. They may have glazed over facial expressions and exhibit a general sense of confusion. The “zombie drug,” however, doesn’t just affect outward behavior and appearance.
Addicts have described feeling brain dead while on the drug. They claim that they feel present but aren’t able to properly communicate. The heavy, intense high feels like it lasts much longer than it actually does. It can cause users to lose all sense of time and awareness.
If you’ve noticed your loved one displaying any of these symptoms, and it seems like it’s a result of a drug you’re unfamiliar with, it’s possible that they’re struggling with a spice addiction. As spice specialists, we can intervene starting with a first appointment.
What Are the Effects & Side Effects of Spice?
Spice users are likely to experience different side effects. This is because of the countless variations of the drug. However, the chemicals all produce highs by attaching to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. Some of the most common effects users experience include:
- Changes in perception
- Faster heart rate
- Violent behavior
Some of the most serious side effects include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Psychotic episodes
- Heart attacks
When users try to come off of spice, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. These can be uncomfortable and severe enough to cause addicts to relapse. Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Trouble eating and/or drinking
Because it is a relatively new drug, spice’s potential long-term effects are unknown and need further researched. Nevertheless, the short-term effects are very real and can be prolonged by strong dependence and addiction to the drug.
If you suspect a young man in your life has formed a spice addiction, don’t hesitate to call now. New Life House has the resources to help your loved one with recovery from addiction.
How Long Does Spice Stay in Your System?
The synthetic cannabinoids used in spice are stronger than THC. This means they will stay in a user’s system much longer. However, unlike THC, synthetic cannabinoids are detectable by most drug tests. Currently, there are two drug tests that can detect JWH-073 and JWH-018 within 72 hours of using spice.
As most standard drug tests cannot detect spice, more research is necessary to create accurate tests. Researchers also need to further study the metabolism of spice. Factors such as users’ weight, height, metabolism speed, and amount consumed can produce varying results for its presence in the user’s system.
What Should I Do If Someone is Abusing Spice?
Addicts often will hide their substance abuse problems. As such, you need to be aware of your loved one’s behaviors. Are they exhibiting changed behaviors? Do they show any of the symptoms mentioned above? It is important to recognize the problem sooner rather than later. Early intervention will give them a better chance at recovery.
If someone you know is abusing spice, don’t be afraid to get professional help. We encourage you to contact New Life House as soon as you can.
How Can New Life House Help?
Spice is not a harmless substance that teens and young adults use recreationally, or “just for fun.” It is a powerful and dangerous drug that has real consequences. Young men often feel pressured to partake in spice use because of their peers. They do not understand the severe effects it can have.
At New Life House, we offer a community where our residents can relate to each other. They are all going through similar situations. Our community lets them use each other’s comfort and support to get better.
Unfortunately, when it comes to spice, the risk of relapse is high. This is usually because of the constantly changing formulas offered by the drug. Users almost never get the same experience twice but seek it out nonetheless. There are instances of addicts reporting strong cravings even after they have been in recovery for a while.
New Life House teaches our residents healthy ways they can deal with their addiction and stay on the wagon when times get tough.
Spice Addiction Treatment in Southern California
If you feel that your loved one may benefit from our programs, contact us at New Life House today by calling (888) 357-7577. We provide our residents with the tools and support they need to be successful in their recovery.