Some Spices Can Be Deadly: Abuse of Synthetic Drug, Spice Growing in Popularity

By now it's clear to law enforcement officials, prevention advocates and regrettably the loved ones of overdose victims that synthetic drugs are posing an increasingly greater risk in the United States. Though fairly new to the consumers and distributors, authorities have already seized millions of doses of these drugs, as well as tens of millions of dollars in cash belonging to distributors. One of the new and more deadly synthetic recreational drugs flooding the landscape are called Spice. Otherwise known as K2, Spice is a potpourri-like substance meant to emulate the effects of synthetic marijuana. Many drug abusers have gravitated toward Spice and other synthetic drugs because they rarely appear on drug test results.

Unsurprisingly, Spice is said to be all natural and perfectly safe by distributors; however recent episodes of violence, hysteria and paranoid delusions linked to the drug indicate the contrary, including a case Texas in which an individual high on Spice killed and started eating his cocker spaniel and one in Phoenix in which a man was accused of beating his infant daughter after smoking it. Additionally, two Tucson high school students recently overdosed with near fatal consequences. Members of communities in which Spice has become a problem have called for prevention and education programs to alert potential users of the consequences of all synthetic drugs.

Over the past two years, calls to emergency personnel related to synthetic drug
Overdoses have increased to over 13,000 from just over 3,000, and have reached what the American Association of Poison Control Centers calls epidemic proportions. Use of these drugs is tantamount to Russian roulette and has been known to cause severe intestinal distress, hallucinations, high blood pressure, violent behavior, long-term heart problems and much more. Poison control officials have described these drugs as the worst they've ever seen, and have reported users turning aggressive, violent and psychotic.

In July of 2012, the House of Representatives and President Obama passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act which broadly prohibits many of the chemical ingredients used to concoct these drugs; however many, including DEA officials claim that the law may not do enough. While it limits access to necessary ingredients and accounts for interstate and internet sales, synthetic drugs have managed to linger, proving that education, enforcement and prevention must be available at the local level as well. Many communities have already started offering workshops for parents and children on how to avoid synthetic drug abuse.

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.