Spice is the umbrella term for a large number of synthetic cannabinoids. These are human-made chemicals that people can smoke, inhale, and even spray to produce mind-altering effects. Highly popular among teenagers and often found at gas stations, the more we learn about spice addiction facts, the more we’ll understand this hidden danger.
What is Spice?
Spice is a mix of herbs and other lab-made active chemicals that produce mind-altering effects. Also called “synthetic marijuana” or “fake weed” because it uses similar compounds to those in marijuana and have a high potential for abuse. However, its effects are very different and often much potent. Street names for Spice include Black Mamba, Bliss, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, K2, Yucatan Fire, and Zohai, to name a few.
While many compounds to produce Spice are illegal, these often appear in products labeled as “not for human consumption,” which is why you can find them at gas stations as incense.
5 Interesting Spice Addiction Facts You Should Know
Despite being popular among teenagers and young adults, Spice and synthetic marijuana are almost underground or street drugs. Those struggling with spice addiction know how to find them at specialty stores, gas stations, and street dealers. But, unlike other commonly addictive drugs, Spice isn’t available through prescriptions, so you won’t find people doctor shopping to find these. When we look at synthetic marijuana addiction facts, we see how this directly impacts the side effects, dangers, and relates to the demographics.
1. Most People Think Space is Natural
Most spice packages claim to be natural incense that’s not intended for human consumption. Not to mention, these laboratory-made chemicals resemble real-life marijuana leaves or other natural herbs, making people believe these are natural alternatives.
In reality, almost none of the compounds found in Spice or synthetic marijuana packages are natural. These “herbs” mimic the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and can be 100 times more potent than marijuana. They perfectly bind to our brain’s cannabinoid receptors, making them extremely effective and addictive.
2. Spice Addiction Can Lead to Cognitive Decline
Synthetic marijuana produces an unrealistic rush of activity in the central nervous system, which leads to an increased risk of many cognitive side effects. Spice might also result in diminished cognitive function affecting things like learning, working memory, problem-solving, and a person’s ability to process and apply complex daily concepts. Some studies also believe that some long-term effects of synthetic marijuana can affect the decision-making process and cause permanent cognitive decline in the long-term.
3. Most Spice Contents Are Unknown
One of the biggest challenges with controlling synthetic marijuana is that no one can accurately say what’s in them. Someone can purchase the same packet at the same location and receive two entirely different formulations. While the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has identified at least five compounds in synthetic marijuana and categorized them as Schedule I drugs. Most spice users almost play roulette and leave it to chance when they ingest these drugs because it’s impossible to know precisely what ingredients are in them.
4. Synthetic Marijuana is Very Popular Among Teenagers
Because Spice is readily available on the streets and at some specific gas stations, not to mention they’re relatively cheap, teenagers are among the top users. Around 11 percent of high school seniors, making synthetic marijuana the second most widely used illicit drug class after marijuana among teenagers. Because the effects of Spice are experienced so quickly, being almost 100 more potent than real marijuana, teenagers can quickly develop substance abuse without even considering the dangerous side effects.
5. It’s Very Difficult to Control Spice Distribution
While the fight for opioids has some controls in terms of how many prescriptions doctors can issue, for how long, and so forth, synthetic marijuana does not. This entirely illicit drug lives and breathes in the black market and streets.
Manufacturers are brilliant, often selling them at convenience stores, gas stations, and even online as incense, herbal remedies, and natural products. Because from the outside, these appear to be precisely what’s described, authorities have a more challenging time tracking them down. The same difficulty extends to parents who might believe their teenage children are using drugs, but don’t find any paraphernalia or other signs of drug abuse to be sure. Spice looks like dried plant materials that seem to be harmless.
Spice Addiction Statistics
There’s no doubt, Spice, and synthetic drugs are incredibly addictive. When we look at spice addiction statistics, we realize that although they don’t appear on the news so often, there’s an issue among teenagers and young adults who are falling ill to this addiction disease.
- In 2019, about 3 percent of teens in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades reported that they used Spice in the past year.
- In 2012, synthetic marijuana was the second most popular drug abused by high school seniors that year behind only actual marijuana.
- Almost 80 percent of the close to 30,000 people seeking emergency department treatment for a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids were male.
- In 2015, there were 160 hospitalizations for adverse reactions to synthetic cannabinoid products, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
- More than 28,000 emergency department visits could be attributed to taking Spice in 2011.
Synthetic Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Addiction to Spice is highly prevalent, but those ready to break the addiction cycle can find hope in treatment. Side effects of diet pills addiction are hazardous to those using them, and most of the time, they don’t realize or notice them until it’s too late.
When people experience withdrawal symptoms, they go back to taking it even more to control their symptoms. It’s paramount to speak with an addiction treatment specialist to determine the best way to start seeking help for synthetic marijuana addiction. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our drug addiction recovery programs include:
Medical Detox: A clinically supervised detox process held in addiction treatment centers ensures the patient’s safety and makes the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible.
Intensive Outpatient Programs: After detox and maybe a partial hospitalization program, patients can choose an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that gives them the flexibility to attend school, work, or care for family members while still attending addiction treatment.
Group Therapy: For people struggling with addiction and a co-occurring eating disorder having the support of peers that understand their situation is vital for recovery.
Long-term Recovery Programs: It’s easy to relapse after treatment; almost sixty percent of people relapse. Long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety, especially when people with alcohol addiction tend to struggle with related problems all their lives.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with spice abuse, seek help immediately. Call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction center specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.
Our philosophy revolves around treating each patient on a case-by-case scenario because we know no two addiction stories are alike. Start walking towards your recovery, and we’ll be here supporting you and your family every step of the way. Please don’t wait another day to start addiction treatment–your life depends on it.