Teen drug trends have changed drastically over the past 10 years. With easy access to information on new drugs over the internet, teens are experimenting with a variety of drugs today that weren’t prevalent only a few years ago.
Spice is among these newly popularized drugs. Spice is comprised of plant leaves combined with a variety of added chemicals. These added chemicals are consistently changing allowing drug creators to stay ahead of the law which has only recently made the drug an illegal substance. By making small changes in their formulas, the drug can be marketed as incense. Teens are utilizing spice as an alternative to marijuana because testing for the drug is not common. The chemicals used in spice do not show up on most drug tests allowing teens to use the substance without the fear of a positive drug test. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 9 high school seniors have used the drug. In the first 2 months of 2012 alone, 1200 calls were made to poison centers due to spice. The drug can cause heart palpitations, respiratory problems, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting and increased agitation. The exact effects of the drug fluctuate due to the vast variety of chemical combinations used.
Spice’s popularity is also due to easy access to the drug. In an effort to stop distribution of the drug, law enforcement officials searched locations in Santa Clarita suspected of selling the drug. A sizable amount of the substance was found at a local Mobile Gas station in Canyon Country. While efforts continue to decrease distribution and use of spice it continues to be a problem for teens and young adults.
Marijuana use has also increased amongst teens and for the first time since 1981 is consumed more amongst high school students than tobacco. More than 1 out of 5 high school seniors report using marijuana.
Excerpt from Sovereign Health Group:
“Spice is one of the most popular brands of synthetic cannabis and is also known as Genie, K2, fake weed, or Zohai. Spice can be found in head shops everywhere and can even be purchased online. It is sold as incense, but users smoke it and find that the effects are similar to those of marijuana.
Since the effects of Spice are similar to those of marijuana, many people smoke it for the same reasons – to get away from life’s problems and enjoy the high feeling. Many users, in fact, mix the drug with marijuana for a more intense high. Also like marijuana, there are side effects: researchers have found Spice can cause dry mouth, red eyes, anxiety attacks, nausea, increased pulse rate and hallucinations. When smoked over a long period of time, users develop a tolerance to the drug and find that they must smoke more and more to get the same high. As a result, some users develop a chemical dependency.
Spice has been found to contain JWH-018, JWH-073 and HU-210, all of which are artificial chemical compounds. None of these chemicals are guaranteed safe for human consumption. JWH-018 is a chemical fertilizer that can cause the negative effects of marijuana at much lower dosages, JWH-073 has been listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a chemical concern and HU-210 has been found to be between 100 to 800 times more potent than THC, the main active chemical in marijuana.” For more information