Spice is a popular brand of synthetic cannabis known by other names such as K2, genie and skunk amongst other names. Spice, currently legal, can be purchased at head shops or online. It is often sold as ‘incense’ however most purchase with the intent to smoke for its effects that mimic marijuana.
Spice contains certain cannabinoid chemicals which can be far more potent than THC, the active chemical in marijuana. Some of these chemicals include synthetic cannabinoids such as Cannabicyclohexanol and HU-210. Many use spice as either a legal alternative to marijuana or mix spice with marijuana in order to gain an increased high. Spice is reported to have similar side-effects to that of marijuana; such as dry mouth and red eyes.
Spice side effects include:
- Anxiety attacks
- Impaired motor coordination
- Impaired reasoning and judgment capability
Spice also has a greater risk than marijuana for chemical dependency. Spice addiction is likely to occur when one has used spice consistently over extended periods of time. During this time tolerance builds and the brain creates a dependency upon the drug.
Signs and symptoms of spice addiction include:
- Increase in dosage
- Increase in desire or wanting to use
- More consistent usage
- Abandoning outside commitments such as work and school in order to use
- Lack of regard for potential adverse effects on health and life as a whole
When an individual has developed an addiction to spice it is likely for the user to experience withdrawal symptoms on a psychological and physical level once they discontinue use.
Spice withdrawal effects can include but are not limited to:
- Unrest and Agitation
- Anxiety and Panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
- Nausea and vomiting
Spice, although many do not realize, does in fact have a potential for addiction and chemical dependency. Treatment for spice addiction does not necessarily require an in-patient drug rehab as strongly as with other drugs such as benzodiazepines and alcohol where the withdrawal process can be potentially fatal. A residential treatment center however is normally recognized as the most effective way of treatment.
Treatment for spice addiction can be achieved also through a detox center where the patient will still be monitored through the withdrawal process and given medications to alleviate some withdrawal symptoms. After the detoxification the individual may return to their life on the outside.
Spice addiction may also be treated at an outpatient treatment center either by itself or combined in a treatment plan with a detoxification facility. Out-patient facilities are most useful when the addict is dually diagnosed with a mental disorder that requires individual therapy. Out-patient can also be useful with relapse prevention tools and regular monitoring of the patient in question.
Treatment for spice addiction can be enhanced through use of a 12-Step support program such as Narcotics Anonymous. 12 Step programs are groups of people with similar diseases of addiction who come together to help and support one another.