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Synthetic Marijuana and Drug Addiction Treatment

July 22, 2015

Drug Addiction Treatment

Did you know that synthetic marijuana is an emerging drug trend? Perhaps, you are more familiar with its brand names: Kush, Kronic, Joker, Black Mamba, K2, or Spice. K2 and Spice have been around the longest, so they may be the terms most well-known.

These synthetic cannabinoids are man-made chemicals called new psychoactive substances, and they are unregulated. Their goal is to copy the mind-altering effects of marijuana. These drugs can be dangerous and addictive and they can be life-threatening. For this reason, many users find they need drug addiction treatment to curb their use.

How Are They Used?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists two types of use:

  • Herbal incense: this is sprayed on dried, shredded plant material and smoked or used to make a tea
  • Liquid incense: this is a liquid intended to be vaporized and in haled using a vape pen or other similar device

What Do They Look Like?

Users look for synthetic marijuana in small bottles, when in liquid form, or in colorful foil packages labelled synthetic marijuana. The products are often branded “not for human consumption.” Other labels may claim that they contain “natural” materials, but studies have shown that the only natural material contained in the packages is the dried plant material.

Where Are They Found?

Synthetic marijuana can be found in:

  • Gas stations
  • Drug paraphernalia shops
  • Novelty stores
  • Via the internet

Even though the federal government has placed a permanent ban on many, many types of synthetic cannabinoids, you can still buy the products in convenience stores because manufacturers simply create a variation of the formula that is not yet banned.

Are They Dangerous?

Clearly, an unregulated chemical that attempts to mimic illicit drugs is dangerous. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports the first complaints about these products appeared in 2009. Subsequently, the drug spread across the nation and the number of people calling poison control centers is on the rise. In 2013 2,668 calls were received and the number jumped to 3,680 in 2014.

The AAPCC considers synthetic drug use to be a hazard to public health and a threat to public safety. But, the use of the drugs appears to be on the rise as is the need for drug addiction treatment.




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