THE DANGERS OF SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA
The University of Michigan found that nearly 3.7% of seniors in high school have tried synthetic marijuana at some point during the last year. This number is up .2% from 2016 and continues to increase at an alarming rate.
The name synthetic marijuana is actually quite misleading as it truly contains no part of the marijuana plant. Synthetic marijuana is a made-made substance that is designed to mimic THC found in marijuana.
For years, synthetic marijuana has been sold legally in paraphernalia shops or novelty stores simply because they are extremely difficult to regulate and outlaw. Once a certain mixture is outlawed, someone creates a new mix of harsh chemicals and markets under a different name. Originally manufactured in Asia, these drugs have been smuggled into the United States and sold under various names. Individuals familiar with synthetic marijuana may refer to it as Kush or Kronic, Black Mamba, Joker, Spice or K2.
The issue is the magnified effect synthetic marijuana has on users. In ordinary marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain at a fairly low rate resulting in generally low side effects. Synthetic marijuana’s bind is significantly more potent, causing the body to go into overdrive. Additionally, synthetic marijuana often contains harmful chemicals, like rat poison, that can cause a variety of problems when used.
Users of synthetic marijuana often experience side effects such as:
- Increased appetite
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Respiratory failure
- Extreme anxiety and confusion
- Paranoia and hallucinations
- Altered perception of reality
- Suicidal thoughts
Synthetic marijuana is extremely dangerous and is addictive. Individuals that use this substance regularly may suffer withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or depression, irritability, or severe headaches. Because each batch of the drug is made differently, there is no way to predict which side effects will impact a user at any time.
It is extremely difficult to tell the strength of the product and, as a result, overdosing on synthetic marijuana is quite common. Individuals experiencing an overdose of this substance often have difficulty breathing, low pulse, paralysis, and they may become unconscious all together and may die.
If you or someone you know is abusing synthetic marijuana it is important that you take steps forward in addressing the issue. Begin by educating yourself about the risk associated with the substance and research treatment options available. Reach out to a treatment facility to see what options are available to help.
At Asana Recovery, we help individuals every day that are in the same situation as you. Dealing with a synthetic marijuana abuse issue may seem like a hopeless situation. Thankfully, we have a variety of services available to help you or your loved one get back on the right track.
Call us at (949) 329-5479 to get started today. Our trained medical professionals can speak to you and help determine what your options are. Together, we can decide what your best step forward will be.