Spice abuse is a serious problem. There are both short term and long term effects of Spice abuse and it’s important to educate yourself about this.
What is Spice?
Spice, or synthetic marijuana, has many other street names. It’s referred to as herbal incense, fake pot, or by any of its brand names, such as K2 and Mr. Nice Guy, just to name a few.
At the height of its popularity, Spice was thought of as a synthetic – and legal – version of marijuana but, it’s really quite different from real pot and more dangerous as its effects are much more unpredictable. The added danger was that there was no real way to regulate safety and potency from batch to batch, just like with other illicit street drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. The fact that it was legal was more of a temporary loophole than because it was somehow safer than other street drugs.
Long Term Effects of Spice Abuse: Psychosis
Spice is a relatively new drug but the research on its safety or lack thereof, is clear. Synthetic cannabis has been linked to psychosis – a break with reality marked by hallucinations and delusions – and in some cases, the long term effects of Spice abuse is prolonged psychosis. That is, there are some studies that suggest that Spice intoxication is associated with acute psychosis – a temporary episode – to exacerbating an already-established yet stable psychotic disorder, to triggering a chronic, that is long-term, psychotic disorder. There have also been reports of long term damage to mental health status with continuing hallucinations appearing after several months of trying the drug.
Long Term Effects of Spice Abuse: Anxiety
There are many side effects from smoking Spice that can be the same or worse than those of real marijuana. These include increased and severe anxiety and paranoia. Other negative side effects of Spice abuse include increased heart rate, feelings of agitation, vomiting, seizures, uncontrollable body movements, lack of emotional attachment, sweating and loss of control, blood-shot eyes and dry mouth. All of which can increase anxiety and exacerbate a preexisting anxiety disorder or cause panic.
Long Term Effects of Spice Abuse: Organ Damage
Spice abuse also causes reduced blood flow to the heart, a medical condition called myocardial ischemia, which lead to heart attack. This is also one of the long term effects of Spice abuse as it can cause damage to the heart and its cellular structures. Spice has also been implicated in several cases of kidney failure.
Long Term Effects of Spice Abuse: Death
Reactions from smoking Spice can also be fatal in some cases. Death can occur after smoking just once, or may happen after many experiences with the drug. Besides physical reactions to the drug from Spice abuse that can precipitate death, Spice can also lead to fatal outcomes due to its impact on the user’s mental state. Both regular and one-time Spice users described hallucinations, suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions, and an intense fear and paranoia. There are several cases where synthetic marijuana has been implicated in deaths from suicide, or by accidental means.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Spice abuse or other substance abuse and addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.