Legal Highs – The Teen Spice Pandemic
In recent years, a new synthetic form of marijuana, referred to as “spice” hit the market to a running start. Teens all over the country have raced to try to new drug, which mimics the effects of marijuana, but evades common drug tests and therefore has increased abuse potential. Spice is sold as a tool for aromatherapy and packages typically have a disclaimer saying “Not for Human Consumption” but as is the case with most drugs in this vein, serious consequences of spice abuse has not deterred teens from their “legal high.”
Common Street Names for Spice
Spice or K2 can may also be referred to as Bliss, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Fake Weed, Genie, Nice Guy, Oasis, Zohai. It is important that if you suspect that a loved one is using spice, to listen for these different names and be aware of the warning signs and side effects of spice abuse.
Spice is Unregulated and can cause Dangerous Consequences for Teens
According to a new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, spice is one of most frequently abused substance among high school seniors, second only to marijuana. Spice can be extremely dangerous. Because it is not regulated and the amount of active ingredients may vary from batch to batch, two packages that look exactly the same may contain a great variance in strength. This has proven to have tremendous consequences. A user may think they know what they are putting in their bodies, but in actuality, there is no way to tell the amount of active ingredients in any given package of spice.
In higher dosages, spice may cause agitation, paranoia, seizures and extremely high blood pressure. There have been reports of users temporarily losing vision, vomiting and fainting as well. Spice usage has been linked to countless deaths and E.R. trips since it’s inception.
Government is Taking Action to Prevent Spice Abuse Among Teens
With the recent rise in teen spice abuse, and the reported emergency room trips it has brought on to users the US lawmakers have responded by banning the problematic substance in 40 states with 10 states pending. However, manufactures have responded to this ban by putting out new versions of spice under different names by slightly altered the chemical make up of this highly dangerous synthetic drug.
The drugs availability and the legal grey area surrounding the ban spice is still available and has quickly become a drug of choice in high schools everywhere. “Head shops”, smoke shops, and gas stations are carrying the spice and selling it for cheap so anyone “over 18″ can purchase it wherever tobacco products are sold. Adolescents and teens that are unable to purchase spice in stores are at risk as well since online retailers are selling spice to anyone with a credit card. Since Spice is changing to work around law makers these online retailers are having no issue with shipping the substance anywhere despite state laws.
Spice is packaged in colorful packets with artistic designs no doubt in an effort to market to teens and adolescents. The teen drug landscape is constantly changing and it is important to keep up with it and be aware of the temptations your teen is being exposed to.