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
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