What is Spice?
Spice is a synthetic marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoid. Spice is also marketed as K2, but is also sold under hundreds of names, including Black Mamba, Mojo and Scooby Snax. Spice typically looks like marijuana, or herbal tobacco. Most often, this synthetic cannabinoid is sprayed on a variety of herbs, and is smoked by the user. It is also packaged and sold as incense, room deodorizer, or potpourri. Spice may also be found in a liquid form.
Natural marijuana contains a chemical called THC. Synthetic forms, such as Spice, fit into the same receptor sites, which may cause an effect similar to marijuana. The effects can often be much more intense and unpredictable, as Spice often contains other chemicals which can lead to serious psychological and medical consequences.
Adverse Effects of Spice
Contrary to what many believe, Spice is far from harmless. One of the many issues related to Spice use is that you can never be sure what you’re going to get. The manufacturers continually attempt to get around the law, making newer synthetic compounds to get around the law. As soon as one is banned, the producers will create another chemical which can get past the law. Other chemicals may be added, so that one batch of Spice is rarely the same as the next. There has been a dramatic rise in Poison Control Center calls, police calls and emergency room visits related to synthetic marijuana.
Side effects may include:
- Intense cravings
- Extreme agitation
- Psychotic episodes including hallucinations
- Heart attacks
Is Spice Addictive?
Yes. Most leading government and industry health organizations now classify spice as dangerous and addictive. There is a high risk and potential for abuse and dependence. Side effects and withdrawal symptoms are experienced with synthetic weed, as with other mood altering, addictive substances.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Extreme vomiting
- Inability to eat or drink
- Difficulty focusing
- Extreme insomnia.
- Serious health issues reported include extreme dehydration, heart palpitations, renal failure and death.
Characteristics such as cravings, urges and compulsions are found among Spice users similar to those of other addictive substance users.
Treatment for Spice Abuse
Treatment for Spice addiction is similar to rehab for other addictive substances. Effective strategies include: individual and group therapy, 12-Step programs, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), SMART recovery, outpatient addiction treatment, and health and nutritional therapies. It is important to address the whole person; mind, body, spirit and social. Support and structure are critical to promote the short, mid and long-term needs related to addiction recovery.
Center for Spice Treatment in Gilbert, AZ
Spice addiction treatment from Renaissance Recovery Center in Gilbert, Arizona offers each client a customized treatment plan designed to meet his or her individual needs. Our approach to spice recovery is holistic; involving group and individual counseling, which addresses the spiritual, emotional and psychological aspects of recovery. Contact us at (480) 526-7738 for any questions or to get a free assessment.