Parent Notice - Spice Alert!
There has been a lot of talk recently about a new trend among teens. They are smoking Spice or K2. In fact, an employee here at DrugFreeAz.org received one of those mailbox coupon books and on the back page was an advertisement for spice. Below is a fact sheet developed with information taken from WebMD. Please pass this information along to other parents, school administrators and community members.
Marketed as incense.Spice/K2 is a legal substance marketed since 2006 as a dried, herbal blend for use as incense. However, people are smoking the incense because it produces a high similar to marijuana, but of longer duration. The incense is sprayed with JWH-018, a synthetic THC, before it is packaged for sale. This spray is reportedly an "analgesic chemical which acts as a cannabinoid."
More potent than marijuana. Depending on synthetic compound in specific commercial brand, can be more potent than marijuana.
Not for human consumption. Spice is sold in smoke shops and head shops in a variety of colors/flavors-usually sold in foil packaging or in small glass containers. It is sold as incense and marked “not for human consumption”. The average cost is $30.00 a gram, more expensive than marijuana.
Most likely users:
14-27 yr. olds
Significant health risks. Spice is causing a significant health risk. Spice/K2 is often contaminated with unidentified toxic substances which contribute to various adverse health effects (also cause hallucinogenic effects similar to effects of PCP. Symptoms/side-effects may include:
-mimics marijuana “high” (often induced more quickly/more intense than “real” marijuana)
-increased respiration rate
-elevated blood pressure (reported up to 200/100-medically dangerous)
-elevated heart rate (reported up to rate of 150-medically dangerous)
-increased level of anxiety/agitation leading to panic attacks (possible suicide attempts)
All effects of K2/Spice drugs may not be known for a very long time because of long time period that body stores them.
Developed for research, never tested on humans. Spice/K2 was developed by Dr. John W. Huffman, a Clemson University professor, as part of research for the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) on endogenous cannabinoid receptors-but never tested on humans nor approved by the FDA. Dr. Huffman said in an interview to WebMD, “It is like Russian roulette to use these drugs. We don’t know a darn thing about them for real. It shouldn’t be out there.”
Marketed under various names. It is marketed under a variety of names including K2, Spice, Pep Spice, Spice Silver, Spice Gold, Spice Diamond, Smoke, Skunk, Yucatan Fire, Genie & Zohai Orange Dragon Smoke, Black Mamba,Blaze, Red X, and Dawn.
Not just smoked. Spice is most often smoked but can be mixed in with food or drink.
State and International bans already in place. K2 has been banned in many countries and 17 states. New York, Texas, and New Jersey are considering legislation. An organized effort is currently getting underway in Arizona to explore a possible ban here in our state.