Is Spice Marijuana?

With the legalization of marijuana in some states, and many people claiming to take “legal” marijuana to help them sleep at night or for common ailments, many people are wondering about the different types of marijuana and what is safe and what isn’t.  One of the types of marijuana that is often discussed is spice. Simply put, spice is synthetic marijuana.  It is not a safe form of marijuana, although some are led to believe otherwise.  It is the second most commonly abused drug among high school students.  It is composed of several “herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana.  Further, spice is sold under names such as K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and is often labeled “not for human consumption”.  Spice contains dried, shredded plant material as well as chemical additives that are responsible for psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A disturbing finding is that spice is being marketed to buyers as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana.” (drugabuse.gov).

Further, drugabuse.org also reports that, “Spice products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, they are second only to marijuana. (They are more popular among boys than girls (recently) nearly twice as many male 12th graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana as females in the same age group.) Easy access and the misperception that spice products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in spice are not easily detected in standard drug tests.”

Because spice is made synthetically and the ingredients change to allude law enforcement, the actual effects of spice are not officially understood or documented.  However, many spice abusers report confusion, vomiting, agitation, hallucinations and rapid heart rate.  Spice has also been shown to raise blood pressure and reduce blood supply to the heart.  Regular spice users also report withdrawal and addiction symptoms as well.

Because of the unknown factors of spice, the actual effects remain mysterious.  But drugabuse.gov reports that, “one public health concern is that there may be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixtures.”  The bottom line is that abusing spice is especially dangerous due to the many unknown factors of exact make up of each package of spice as well as the unknown effects of abusing spice.  If you are an individual looking to explore various types of marijuana and are wondering what forms are “safe”, spice is definitely one to avoid and steer clear of.

Amphetamines: What are they?

We’ve heard the term amphetamine but what exactly does it mean? The answer is amphetamines are stimulants that speed up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. There are legally prescribed amphetamines for things such as ADD and ADHD as well as for narcolepsy. There are also illegal amphetamines which were one of the top 10 most abused illegal drugs in the United States in 2017. These are produced and sold illegally.

Prescription amphetamines are most often in tablet or capsule form. However, the drug can also come in the form of a powder and crystals. When amphetamines are sold illegally, they might be packaged in foil, plastic bags, or even in small balloons. Powder forms of amphetamine may be white or can even be brown in color. The powder has a strong smell and taste. They may contain traces of grey or pink as well.

Street names for amphetamines include: speed, whiz, fast, up, louee, uppers, and goey. Amphetamines are generally swallowed, injected snorted, or smoked.

Effects of amphetamines include: extra happiness and confidence, being more talkative and having more energy, feeling itchy and scratchy, enlarged pupils, dry mouth, increased heart rate, reduced appetite, excessive sweating, teeth grinding, and increased sex drive among others.

Long term effects of abusing amphetamines include: breathing trouble, dizziness, convulsions, extreme fatigue, mode changes, psychosis, mental disorders, behavior disorders, skin disorders, tics, ulcers

Common Street Drugs Part 2: Meth, Weed, Heroin

This part 2 follow up discusses 3 more dangerous street drugs that are commonly being used in the U.S. today. Although awareness about the dangers of drug abuse has grown considerably over the last few decades, the problem of addiction continues to exist and, in some cases, is on the increase. Meth, Heroin, and Marijuana are spoken about in the news often. With prescription painkiller addictions turning into street heroin addictions on the rise throughout the entire country and legalization of marijuana in so many states, these drugs pose a new threat that wasn’t around a decade ago because of their easier access.

  1. Methamphetamine – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?
  • Meth is a stimulant often marketed under the name Desoxyn. It is is highly addictive. It was known for being a drug made at home at one time, but because of recent laws, meth ingredients are tougher to get so most of it is coming from South American and Mexico. Meth is ingested by being snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked. Often users change methods. Street names for meth include: Crystal Glass Stove Top, Trash Black Beauties, Chalk, Crank, Yaba. In 2015, agents recovered record setting amounts: 1,686 grams.

2. Heroin – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Heroin is made from opium, a naturally occurring substance extracted from poppies and it has no accepted medical use, no accepted safe procedure for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for addiction and abuse. Known on the street as Black Tar, Chiva, Smack, Hell Dust, Horse, Negra or Thunder, it comes as a white or brownish powder, or as a black, sticky substance and is typically snorted, injected, or smoked. Often,heroin is cut with other substances such as sugar or powdered milk. Abuse of heroin is widespread and is on the rise. Many law enforcement agencies point to the increase in prescription painkillers as a problem, since many turn to street heroin once their prescriptions are no longer valid.

3. Marijuana – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Marijuana is a plant that is grown inside or outdoors in North and South America as well as in Asia. The street names for marijuana include: dope, grass, pot, skunk, smoke, weed, yerba, and boom. Marijuana is addictive and as been shown to decrease brain function. Agents are constantly seizing marijuana based drug It is one of the most common street drugs and is also the best known among high school and college aged kids who abuse drugs. With recent changes in marijuana legalization, many seem to turn a blind eye to some of its harmful effects when it is not used for medicinal purposes. The use of marijuana is very widespread.

 

Source: usatoday.com

 

Common Street Drugs Part 1: Oxy, Cocaine, Mushrooms

A recent article published by USA today states some quick, hard facts about 6 common street drugs in Wisconsin. But the information discussed is true for most of the US. These drugs make up the more dangerous and prevalent substances that law enforcement have been concerned about recently.   The first 3, discussed here, include Oxycontin, mushrooms, and cocaine. The latter 3 will be discussed in a later blog – part 2.

  1. OxyContin – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?
  • Oxycondone (oxy) is a painkiller made from the Persian poppy and the opium poppy. It it has a medical use, but also a high potential for abuse and dependency. Street names for oxycontin include: ox, roxy, perc, oxy, hillbilly heroin, kicker, and OC. Oxy can be swallowed or crushed and snorted or dissolved and injected. Use of oxy is widespread and the use is increasing drastically across the nation.

2. Psilocybin mushrooms – what are they made of and what do they do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Mushrooms contain psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance and are a schedule I drug but have no approved medical use. Called “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms,” they are usually dried and eaten but can brewed as a tea, mixed with other foods or, coated with chocolate and then eaten to mask their bitter taste. Use of mushrooms is less than it once was in the 1960s and 70s, but many individuals still use this street drug.

3. Cocaine – what is it made of and what does it do? How widespread is the use of this drug?

  • Cocaine is a Schedule II drug – meaning it may have limited medical usage, but it has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Cocaine is a stimulant that most often looks like a white powder. It can be cut (mixed) with sugars and can be inhaled or dissolved and then injected. Crack cocaine is smoked and produces a shorter high than snorted/inhaled cocaine. Users often have white powder around their noses from snorting. Street names for cocaine include snow, crack, coke, or flake. Although cocaine use was more widespread in the 1980s, it continues to have a strong street presence currently.

 

Source: usatoday.com

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