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Synthetic marijuana is one of the fastest-growing killers in America today.

Photo Credit to www.tutoringwithatwist.ca

Synthetic marijuana is one of the fastest-growing killers in America today.

Bailey Noah, PR Manager

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In the last few years, a new drug has emerged onto the scene. Although considered similar to natural cannabis, it has the same affects as heroin and other class one drugs, causing brain damage and sometimes death. This deadly drug is referred to as synthetic marijuana, “spice,” or K2, a drug that is easily accessed in convenient stores.

According to www.drugs.com, synthetic marijuana is composed of “herbs, incense or other leafy materials sprayed with lab-synthesized liquid chemicals to mimic the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in the naturally grown marijuana plant.” Often times, the chemicals sprayed on the plants are random, unpredictable, and harmful.

“By early July, poison control centers in the U.S. tallied 4,377 reports of people suffering the effects of synthetic marijuana, compared to 3,682 in all of last year,” according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Terri Childs, an RN at a behavior unit at a local hospital can attest that her patients and their behavior have been negatively affected by K2.

“We treat a variety of mental illness every day,” Childs said. “The most senseless form of psychosis I’ve seen, is the effects of synthetic marijuana. Initially the patient will have hallucinations and aggression. They exhibit grandiose behavior with an intensified ego.  Other patients will be in a sort of catatonic state. I’ve seen patients that rip apart a holding room pulling wires out of ceilings and ripping metal off of the walls and toilets.  To the other extreme, I’ve seen patients in a sort of sleep walking mode. Wandering around aimlessly stripping off their clothes, with no idea where they are or what they are doing.”
If it’s so dangerous and life threatening, what’s the appeal? Why is it so popular? Mostly, people try it out because it gives them a high and goes undetected on drug test. It’s also relatively cheaper and more accessible than other drugs.

“Teenagers and young adults have no idea how dangerous this drug is or the life altering consequences that result from it. The effects range from irreversible brain damage to death,” Childs said. “Sadly, the message concerning the toxic effect of synthetic marijuana is not reaching the public fast enough.  I pray that our government and health departments launch a nationwide campaign profiling the effects of synthetic marijuana.”

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