The proliferation of different "street drugs" continues to complicate education, prevention and treatment efforts. In this regard, one of the most effective parenting strategies to prevent and treat substance abuse by teens is education on current drug trends (see below). Thus, in this feature we provide recent information on current drug trends. In this issue we present information on Marijuana and Spice (synthetic marijuana).
Marijuana is known by many street names like blunt, boom, grass, herb, reefer, skunk, weed and pot to name a few. It looks like a mixture of dried flowers that are green/gray in color which can be smoked, brewed or made into food products (see below). One in three teens has abused marijuana in their lifetime without realizing the danger it can cause due to memory/learning problems, hallucinations, delusions and out of body experiences. There is also a growing body of literature that suggests marijuana can trigger psychosis in vulnerable individuals. It slows reaction time coupled with impaired coordination that can sometimes lead to paranoia and addiction.
Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug that mimics the effects of marijuana. Although marketed under different names, it is commonly called "spice". It's also known as K2, fake weed and moon rocks. One method dealers of this dangerous dry employ to try to avoid detection is to market it as "incense". However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has deemed this drug dangerous and illegal. It's up to twenty times more potent than marijuana and has serious deleterious effects that are outlined below:
- High potential for abuse
- Sold as "incense,"
- Results in elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception
- May cause Extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations
- Associated with heart attacks because it Raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart
- Harmful heavy metal residues