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Synthetic cannabinoids—known commonly by names such as Spice, K2, and Scooby Snax—are man-made chemicals that manufacturers claim mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychotropic compound found in marijuana.

These chemicals are sprayed on plants and the final product is touted as a “legal high” from “fake weed”. The mixtures are sold at small retail stores like gas stations and vape shops. Using names like “herbal incense” and “potpourri,” manufacturers bill them as household items not for human consumption to evade oversight from authorities.

The chemicals applied to the plants are similar to amphetamines and can be highly dangerous and addictive. Many users and some retailers who sell synthetic marijuana incorrectly believe these drugs are safe and less potent than marijuana. The chemical makeup of synthetic cannabinoids varies widely, creating further risk for users. In 2012, the government identified 52 different kinds of synthetic cannabinoids—up from just two in 2009.

COMMON SPICE WITHDRAWAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Heroin Signs

The symptoms of spice withdrawal vary, depending on the chemical makeup of the product consumed. Long-term users of K2 and Spice have reported more severe withdrawal symptoms.

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Increase heart rate
  • Paranoia
  • Thoughts of suicide
SPICE DETOX AND TREATMENT

Heroin Treatment

The shifting nature of synthetic marijuana products makes withdrawing from them without medical help an especially risky proposition. There are scores of versions available–all using different sets of chemicals to achieve the desired effects. A drug rehab or detox facility can safely monitor synthetic drug users for unforeseen outcomes of the withdrawal process, which can include heart problems and severe psychological distress.

There are no medications specifically approved to treat withdrawals from synthetic marijuana products like K2 and Spice. However, a treatment facility can also give users medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Continue Treatment after Detox

Because the symptoms of synthetic marijuana withdrawal can last for weeks, it is highly recommended that former users attend an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program to ensure success. Synthetic marijuana users often receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to put clients on the path to long-term recovery.

SPICE WITHDRAWAL FAQS

Heroin FAQ

Because the chemical makeup of synthetic marijuana products vary so widely, the risks of withdrawal are extremely hard to assess. Heavy users report painful withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, but generally the symptoms are thought to be non-life-threatening. However, the often unknown chemicals can have powerful, unforeseen effects on the mind and body. Anyone stopping synthetic marijuana is highly encouraged to withdrawal with the help of a detox or drug treatment facility.

Although it is sometimes marketed as such, synthetic marijuana is not “safer” than marijuana. The potent blend of chemical—similar to amphetamines—have been known to induce psychosis and can be physically addictive, unlike natural marijuana.

These products use several methods to avoid oversight from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are only legal because they are deceptively marketed. Frequently, the manufacturers falsely claim the drugs are household products and not meant for human consumption. They are also sold at small outlets under variety of different names. When a particular brand gets a bad reputation or negative coverage from the news media, the manufacturers can change the name and the chemical makeup of the product and reintroduce it to stores.

Again because synthetic drugs lack a uniform chemical makeup, it is hard to generalize about the duration of withdrawal symptoms. However, authorities in New Zealand estimate that the most severe physical symptoms like nausea and tremors last for two to four days. Pronounced psychological symptoms, such as anxiety and cravings for the drug, can persist for up to two weeks.

The best way to get off synthetic drugs is to seek professional drug treatment and have a medical team supervise your withdrawal process. If you need help finding a drug rehab in your area, Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you begin your journey toward recovery. Call our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will be available to answer any questions you may have about synthetic drug addiction and the right treatment methods to pursue.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SPICE DRUG TREATMENT

WHEN YOU GET THERE

At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.

PROGRAMS VARY BY INDIVIDUAL

Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of their addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.

MEDICATIONS USED IN TRAMADOL DETOX

Some medications that may be expected are: buprenorphine, Suboxone, and methadone. Medicines for non-pain health conditions may also be administered, such as for diabetes and high blood pressure.

THE RISKS OF STOPPING SPICE COLD TURKEY

There is much we don’t know about the effects of synthetic marijuana, because the chemical makeup of the products can vary so much. Former users have reported intense and painful Spice withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting and insomnia, after abruptly stopping synthetic marijuana, but those symptoms were typically not life-threatening.

It is highly recommended that users withdrawing from spice do so with the help of medical professionals at a detox or drug treatment facility. The facilities will be able to guide users through any complications arising from the shifting chemical makeup of these drugs.

SPICE STATISTICS

4%

of 12th graders used spice in 2016.

75%

of the 11,406 emergency room visits in 2010 that were associated with synthetic marijuana, 75% were among adolescents and young adults ages 12-29.

78%

of the 11,406 emergency room visits in 2010 that were associated with synthetic marijuana, 77.5 percent involved males and 22.5 percent involved females.

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