Synthetic Marijuana is Back
Synthetic marijuana is nothing new. It’s been around for decades, though it only gained popularity in the late 2000’s. As synthetic cannabinoids, often called spice, gained popularity, they also gained infamy. I’m talking, of course, about the news reports calling spice “pure evil” and the cases of spice induced psychosis.
After the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 made many synthetic drugs illegal, it appeared the “spice epidemic” was under control. Well, according to some new reports it’s back and worse than ever.
It appears there’s a dangerous new type of synthetic cannabinoid hitting streets across the country. Consider that during the first three weeks of April there were around 1,000 calls to poison control centers about spice. That breaks down to around five calls a day!
The nature of these calls is changing as well. According to Dr. Mark Ryan, the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, “It’s not, ‘Hey, I smoked this thing and I don’t feel well.’ It’s, ‘This guy’s trying to tear up the E.R. and we have him locked down in restraints. We don’t know what he’s taken. What do we do?’” (The New York Times)
What Do We Know?
Although we know the basics about synthetic cannabinoids, there’s not a lot of information on this new rash of spice abuse. What we are sure of is the following:
[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]
What Can We Do?
It’s clear there’s something strange happening with spice. Remember, although the drug is dangerous, it isn’t usually this dangerous. So, what’s going on and what can we do?
Well, the first step is figuring out what exactly is causing this surge in dangerous spice related side effects and ”poisonings.” According to Dr. Ryan, it may have to do with a new form of the drug. He believes many of the cases involve something called “mab-chminaca.”
A quick search turns up numerous results for this strangely named chemical. It appears mab-chminaca is the latest synthetic cannabinoid. It’s a slightly tweaked form of the classic versions of spice – JWH-018, HU-210, and others.
So we may know why these extreme reactions are occurring. What can we do though? Well, the first step is continuing to educate the public about the effects of spice. That alone should make a dramatic impact on the number of people abusing synthetic marijuana.
Following educational outreach, we need more treatment! And not simply cookie-cutter, twenty-eight day treatment, but individualized spice addiction treatment. It’s through this kind of care, this patient-centered approach to synthetic cannabinoid abuse, that change will occur. Let’s just hope that change occurs soon.