Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana is a man-made drug that is designed to replicate the effects of THC in marijuana. It is often marketed as “herbal incense” or “potpourri.” It has no medical use. Because of the unknown chemicals used to create this drug, synthetic marijuana is particularly dangerous.
What Are Common Street Names?
Spice, K2, Blaze, RedX Dawn, Paradise, Black Magic, Spike, Dream, Genie, Fire, Crazy Clown
What Does It Look Like?
Synthetic marijuana looks like dried plants, and is designed to imitate the appearance of marijuana.
How Is It Used?
Synthetic marijuana is most commonly smoked. It can be mixed with marijuana or brewed as a tea.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana produces effects similar to those of marijuana, including feelings of relaxation and exhilaration. Some of marijuana’s adverse effects are magnified in synthetic marijuana. Short-term synthetic marijuana use can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, nausea, agitation, and powerful hallucinations, among other dangers.
Why Is Synthetic Marijuana Harmful?
Synthetic marijuana has a much greater potential for harm than marijuana, even though it is often marketed as a safer alternative. Many manufacturers of synthetic marijuana do not follow quality control standards, and many of the chemical components of the drug remain a mystery. As a result, some users ingest contaminated ingredients without realizing the severe hazards posed by the drug. Because synthetic marijuana is a drug that causes paranoia, violent behavior, and other severe reactions, poison centers have cautioned the public against the use of these synthetic cannabinoids.
Long-Term Effects of Synthetic Marijuana Abuse
Repeated misuse can lead to synthetic marijuana addiction, increased risk of abusing other substances, and health problems including:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Suicidal thoughts
- Cognitive impairment
Recognizing Synthetic Marijuana Addiction
Habitual abuse of synthetic marijuana can cause the brain to rely on the drug. Addiction leads to physical and behavioral changes such as:
- Physical aggression
- Chest pain
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
What Does a Synthetic Marijuana Overdose Look Like?
There are hundreds of strains of synthetic marijuana making it impossible for the user to know what chemicals have been added to the strain they are taking. Because of this, overdoses from synthetic marijuana are not only common but extremely dangerous. Symptoms vary depending on the strain, but some common signs include:
- Violent behavior
- Respiratory distress
Individuals who overdose on synthetic marijuana require immediate medical attention as the symptoms stated above might precede falling into a coma, long-term brain damage, heart attack, and even death.
How Do You Treat Synthetic Marijuana Addiction?
Synthetic Marijuana Detox
As with any drug, abstaining from use is the first step in treatment. This allows the body to go through the detoxification process. To ensure the safety and comfort of the addicted individual, it is recommended that addicted individuals go through this process under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
- Extreme lethargy
- Violent temper tantrums
- Excessive anxiety
- Hot and cold flashes
Synthetic Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Once the body has been stabilized, individuals should seek a comprehensive treatment plan to help them address the impact that synthetic marijuana has had on their health and lives. Rehabilitation options available for synthetic marijuana addiction include inpatient (residential) treatment and outpatient treatment. In treatment, individuals will receive the drug counseling, addiction education, and expert support they need to build a strong foundation for lasting recovery.
While traditional therapies are the core of addiction treatment, supplementing them with holistic therapies can help strengthen an individual's recovery. Holistic therapies empower individuals to develop better self-awareness, foster mindfulness, and adopt techniques to positively deal with challenges.
Individuals struggling with synthetic marijuana addiction can replace their use with safe activities that promote healing and growth. Those who depended on synthetic marijuana to provide relaxation should experience the tranquility that Hikes and Walks can bring instead. Synthetic marijuana users who turned to the drug for stress relief can try Acupuncture, a secure alternative that produces a similar sense of comfort. Individuals who relied on synthetic marijuana for its mood-boosting properties may benefit from Mindfulness Through Music, which heightens positive emotions.
Hikes and Walks
Staff-supervised hikes and walks in the Housatonic State Forest to help you practice self-reflection and recharge your spirit.
Discover other therapeutic activities that provide physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation on our Wellness page.
If you or a loved one is struggling with synthetic marijuana addiction, know that you are not alone. Our team of medical, clinical, and wellness experts are here to help you break free from addiction and achieve the happy, healthy life you deserve.