By Scott Schlachter
There appears to be a new smokable drug that is getting popular with teenagers. This new drug is Spice or K2 (though it has several other names, such as Nebula, Artic Spice, Zohari and Yucatan Fire). The new interest in this drug is two-fold. First, until recently, it was undetectable in most common drug screens. Second, the effect can be almost four to five times as potent as using Marijuana.
Is Spice or K2 the New Go-To Drug For Teens?
Spice is an herbal concoction which contains a synthetic psychoactive substance (one similar to THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana). This substance is then sprayed onto an herb. Clients have reported that when using Spice, the high is faster than marijuana but does not last as long. One noted side effect is an increase in irritability and a loss in memory retention that will usually last for a couple of days afterword. Other potential 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 in the US legally as herbal incense. Many smoke or head shops sell spice.
If you are concerned about your teen, parents should be on the lookout for behaviors that are similar to smoking marijuana. This includes: decreased motivation, a 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.