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The Problem at Hand

Most people wouldn’t intentionally harm themselves, but anyone who smokes spice is doing just that. Spice is one of the street names for synthetic marijuana, a dangerous man-made drug that’s sold at convenience stores and smoke shops as incense. Despite public awareness campaigns, the use of Spice among teens continues to rise. A survey conducted in 2011 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that one out of every 10 high school senior class members has used or experimented with Spice. The synthetic drug appeals to kids and young adults due to its accessibility, low cost compared to street drugs and the variety of flavors. It’s wise to be concerned if you suspect your teen might be smoking Spice; read more to gain helpful information.

Learn More About Spice Abuse

  • How is Spice Used? Spice is typically sold under the label of incense and resembles potpourri. It’s commonly smoked by itself, but can also be mixed with regular marijuana or consumed as a drink made with herbal infusion. Adolescents and teens don’t see the dangers of using Spice because it’s sold at a store, leading them to believe it’s safe. But the United States Drug Enforcement Administration has proclaimed the five main ingredients used to create Spice as illegal due to the dangers they present. Retailers and manufacturers continue to get around the laws by altering the chemicals used.
  • Physical Signs & Symptoms of Spice Use. Poison Control Centers across the nation report Spice users experiencing rapid heartbeats, nausea and vomiting, increased blood pressure and heart attack. It’s scary when anyone has a heart attack, but even more so when you envision it happening to your teen. Additionally, teens that abuse Spice regularly can exhibit withdrawal symptoms and become addicted.
  • Mental/Emotional Signs & Symptoms of Spice Use. Teens that use Spice regularly do so for its mood-altering effects. But the dangers of continued use include hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety, all of which have led users to experience rage, harm themselves and attack others.
  • Getting Help. Spice can be addictive, and its dangerous effects have the power to alter your teen’s health and life in a negative way. It’s up to you as your child’s advocate to reach out for help on his or her behalf if Spice abuse is a problem, and doing so can save his or her life.

Prevention is Key

Spice is still considered to be a fairly new drug, and doctors and researchers won’t fully understand the impact it has on users for several years. The known side effects are dangerous and life-threatening and concerns about the long-term effects that will be revealed in the future are tremendous. Prevention is a key component to protecting your teen from the effects of Spice. Talk with him or her about the dangers to promote awareness so your child can make an educated decision if he or she is approached by another teen offering Spice. If you feel your child is already abusing Spice, take the first step toward getting help before the situation progresses