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Kerry Herndon, MSW, LAC-E Western Montana Addiction Services Project SUCCESS- Sentinel HS Synthetics
Realities of Fake Weed http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/04/health/synthetic-marijuana-irpt/?hpt=hp_mid • First reported use in the US was in 2009 • First seen in Europe in 2004 • Synthetic marijuana was linked to 11,406 drug-related emergency department visits in 2010 Year Number of Poison Control Calls 2010 2,906 2011 6,968 2012As of Dec. 31, 2012 5,200 • May be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixture
Teen Use of Synthetics • 1 in 9 high school seniors nationwide have used spice in the last year (2011) • More popular among boys than girls -In 2012, nearly twice as many male 12th graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.
Synthetics- Why do people use them? • Advertised as natural and safe • Lack of education about the risks • Less likely to get caught (UA’s) • Sometimes it is easier to access • Suppose to feel like marijuana, but the high comes faster and doesn’t last as long • Creates a relaxed feeling • Advertising! The packaging looks fun.
Synthetics & The Body • Has been known to cause death after one use • Extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations • Suicidal thoughts • Vomiting • Agitation and confusion • Seizures • Muscle Spasms/Tremors • Extreme nervousness • Dilated pupils • Headaches/Migraines • Violent tendencies • Slurred speech
Synthetics & The Heart • Increased heart rate • Elevated blood pressure • Reduced blood supply to the heart (myocardial ischemia) • Associated with heart attacks
Spice/K2: Legal? • Difficult to regulate – tried to make chemicals in Spice illegal, but it is then made with different chemicals and sold. • Says on packaging “not for human consumption” • Different brands use different chemicals and potencies, so it is hard to know how much and what you are taking. • DEA’s story about Wyoming Girl – Kidney Damage
Synthetics: More Info • 3-5 times more potent than THC in marijuana • Addictive? YES! • Withdrawal similar to that of narcotics. • Long-term effects unknown • MIXING is dangerous! • More drugs found laced with synthetics • Many more “Designer Drugs” being developed, all out have had deaths associated with them.
One Last Thought… • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/04/legal-drug-spice-teens_n_871173.html