Synthetic Marijuana

Community Alert: Synthetic Marijuana

Local media outlets are reporting a serious health risk posed by a Lehigh Valley wide spike in the use of synthetic marijuana, also known as K2. Here is some information:

Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug in which herbs, incense or other leafy materials are sprayed with lab-synthesized liquid chemicals to mimic the effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in the naturally grown marijuana plant. Synthetic marijuana is ingested in a similar manner to cannabis. Synthetic marijuana is either smoked in a joint or devices like a pipe or a bong. It can be rolled into a joint with tobacco or natural marijuana. Synthetic marijuana may also be baked into foods, such as brownies, or made into tea.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated the five active chemicals most frequently found in Spice as Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess them. However, as the DEA bans various substances the manufacturers substitute different chemicals in their mixtures to get around the law.

Loss of control
Lack of pain response
Increased agitation
Pale skin
Seizures
Vomiting
Profuse sweating
Uncontrolled / spastic body movements
Elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and
Palpitations

Users report elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception—and in some cases the effects are even stronger than those of marijuana. Some users report psychotic effects like extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Effects can last between 1 and 8 hours, or more.

Street Names for Synthetics: You will often hear girls discuss having “tea parties” which are when they are abusing synthetics and trying to cover it up around adults. Other names include: Spice, K-2, Blazed, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, fake weed, Genie, Cush, Bliss, Ninja, Voodoo Wet, Cloud 10, Diamond, Spaced Out, Aztec Warrior, Dreamsmoke, Bayou Blaster, Stimulus, Agent M, Comatose Candy, Wicked X. Street names are a courtesy of Pyramid Healthcare, Inc.

If someone you know is having these side effects or you suspect synthetic marijuana use, dial 911 immediately. If you have specific concerns regarding your child, please call your child's guidance counselor.

Resources and Information:

National Institute On Drug Abuse - Synthetic Marijuana

Student Assistance Program - Synthetic Marijuana

DrugFacts: K2/Spice ("Synthetic Marijuana")

Drug Free AZ Kids

For more information on synthetic marijuana or how to seek treatment, please contact:
Lehigh County Drug & Alcohol at 610-782-3555
Northampton County Drug & Alcohol at (610) 252-9060

List of treatment providers (providers can be accessed directly):

Confront - provides intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment services to adolescents, adults and families. Phone: (610) 433-0148

Step-By-Step, Inc.  - provides treatment to adults with substance abuse and mental illness. The program provides individual, group and family therapy and psychiatric services. Phone: (610) 776-1224

White Deer Run, Inc. of Allentown  - provides intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment to adults and adolescents for drug and/or alcohol abuse and gambling. Phone: (610) 432-5561

Livengrin Foundation - provides intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment services (adult only).  Phone: 610-264-5521

M.A.R.S., Inc. – provides intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment to adults and adolescents for drug and/or alcohol abuse and gambling addiction.  Phone: (610) 419-3101

Pyramid Healthcare – provides intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment services to adolescents, adults and families.  Phone: (610) 434-1126