By Scott Schlachter
There is a new smokable drug popular with teenagers, called Spice or K2 (though it has several other names, such as Nebula, Artic Spice, Zohari and Yucatan Fire). The interest in this drug is two-fold. First, until recently it was undetectable in common drug screens. Second, the effect can be four to five times as potent as Marijuana.
Spice is an herbal concoction in which a synthetic psychoactive substance (similar to THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana) is sprayed onto an herb. Clients report that when using Spice, the high is faster than marijuana but does not last as long. There is an increase in irritability and a loss in memory retention that lasts for a couple of days. Other risks, include: persistent body numbness, lung irritation, high blood pressure, severe and persistent headaches, blacking out, blurred vision and anxiety.
Spice is illegal in Europe, but is sold here legally as herbal incense. It is sold at many smoke or head shops.
Parents should look for behaviors that are similar to smoking marijuana, including: decreased motivation, drop in grades, some short-term memory loss, withdrawal, increased time spent with friends or newer friends, increased fighting with parents and most notably, increased irritability.
Scott Schlachter, LISW is a Child and Adult Therapist. He has a private practice in Beachwood. He also works part time at Grand River Academy in Ashtabula.