Spice is a synthetic cannabis that contains cannabinoid chemicals more potent than THC, the active chemical in cannabis. It was initially popular as a legal high that mirrored the effects of cannabis. It is mixed with compounds that change with every batch. Spice is surprisingly easy to buy online and available on illicit websites where it is sold as a plant product.
Street names of spice include K2, fake weed, Black Mamba, Red X Dawn, Genie, Bombay Blue, Bliss, Zoh, Black Magic smoke, synthetic blend, Black widow, black kush, Malibu red, ganja, cheese and cheery bomb
Spice stopped being a legal drug on May 26th 2016
In the UK, it is categorised as a Class B drug
104 people died from Spice in 2015
5 out of 6 deaths were males
60% of legal high fatalities involve alcohol or cocaine
1 in 40 young adults took spice in 2014
The cannabinoids in spice were not created for human consumption and no one knows the full impact of the drug on the human body. When you take spice, you might experience the positive effects similar to natural marijuana such as the feeling of altered perception, euphoric feelings and relaxation. However, when you come down from the high, the side effects could be dangerous.
Side effects of spice abuse include:
If you’re suffering from any of these side effects after taking spice, we can help you. Call our drug treatment helpline and we’ll arrange a free evaluation to determine your exact treatment needs.
Researchers say that spice could be up to 100 times more powerful than natural marijuana. There is no way of knowing the exact chemicals used in the formula. Abuse could lead to withdrawal symptoms where you suffer cravings, insomnia and diarrhoea. Long-term users could also suffer memory problems, paralysis, confusion and kidney damage.
Acute kidney dysfunction is linked to a chemical structure in spice that is similar to serotonin and excessive use overstimulates the serotonin system leading to organ failure, convulsion and death. The risk is greater when you combine spice with narcotics or alcohol because it could lead to a fatal overdose.
Most of the chemicals in spice are Class A substances so it’s safe to assume it has a high addictive potential. It has been linked to organ damage such as liver damage, brain injury, heart attack and lung damage. These are medical conditions that are mostly irreversible.
There is a risk of overdose when you abuse spice. Acute poisoning could strike at any time based on the current chemicals in the batch you consumed. From the statistics above, it is clear to see that you need immediate medical attention, or you could die. Young people are not exempt from spice addiction. From 2015-2016, the number of young people under 18 receiving treatment for new psychoactive substances rose by 176%.
If you abuse spice and you’ve suffered any of the side effects of addiction, you’ll need comprehensive treatment to reverse the dangerous side effects and learn to cope with triggers and temptations without relapsing.
Although there are many options available for spice addiction treatment, we strongly recommend inpatient addiction treatment at our rehab centre. The ideal length for effective treatment is 30-60 days. This ensures you go through withdrawal in a safe space and experience the full therapeutic benefits of inpatient treatment.
Our staff are passionate about helping people recover from addiction to new psychoactive substances. Most of them are in recovery and they use their experience with addiction to make your journey easier. Patients are monitored by a medical team for the entire duration of treatment. There is an on-site chef who prepares nutritious meals, so you regain all lost nutrients, a fitness centre to workout, gorgeous gardens for evening walks and visits with family.
The family is central to our treatment programme because we understand that addiction also affects the family. We offer a structured family therapy programme that helps the family heal as a unit and provides the right support for the addict.
If you abuse spice for a long time, you might become dependent on the drug to perform normal functions. At this stage, withdrawal symptoms will manifest when you attempt to quit the drug. Seeing as no one knows the exact chemicals in spice, the safest way to detox and withdrawal safely is to enrol for treatment at our Spice medical detox facility where medical doctors, addiction nurses and therapists work to remove the drug from your system and physically stabilise you.
Symptoms of spice withdrawal include:
Withdrawal usually lasts 3-4 days. There are no approved medications, but doctors will use drugs to alleviate specific symptoms such as oral synthetic THC for marijuana cravings, gabapentin, an anti-epileptic, and Zolpidem, an anti-stress/anti-anxiety medication.
While spice has been marketed as a natural and legal alternative to marijuana, the truth is that it is made in the lab and synthetic cannabinoids bind more strongly to receptor sites in the brain than cannabis, making it more dangerous that plant-based marijuana.
If your loved one is struggling with spice addiction and you notice that they exhibit any of the signs and symptoms of addiction, we can help. Give us a call today and one of our counsellors will use an evidence-based method to help you make the right choice.