Spice is still a relatively new drug on the market in comparison with other kinds like marijuana, cocaine, heroine etc., being recognized just in 2008. However it has already become quite a wide-spread substance. Being popular among teenagers, this drug poses a number of new threats and challenges. What are these and how does one mind them and cope with them?
Spice, also known as Black Mamba, Skunk, Fake Weed, Moon Rocks, Bombay Blue, K2, Bliss, Genie, Yucatan Fire and Zohai, is a recreational drug that consists of synthetic cannabinoids made from legal substances using a number of simple chemical reactions. It affects our system pretty much like marijuana does, although its effect is normally stronger due to the chemical components. The ways of spice use include smoking, drinking (e.g., as a tea mixture), using as a liquid for e-cigarettes. Sometimes spice is mixed with marujuana, too.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effects of spice on our brain are relaxation and elevated mood, altered perception as well as being delusional and detached from reality. Moreover, using spice causes a number of psychotic effects like confusion, extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations. Effects on body include increased blood pressure and heart rate, decreased blood supply to the heart, vomiting and sometimes seizures and kidney damage. Synthetic cannabinoids are addictive and in the long-term perspective can result into violent behaviour, suicidal thoughts and, eventually, even death either by suicide or because of health damage caused by its extensive use. Research also suggests that long-term spice abuse may cause relapse of mental illnesses or result into developing one.
As of 2015, there has no been medication or psychotherapy that was tested for treating spice addiction.
Spice is hugely popular among teenagers, being the second-most-used one after marijuana. As NIDA for Teens suggests, this happens because of ‘easy access’ to the drug and ‘common misperception that spice is ‘natural’ and safe’. Research by scientists from Karolinska Institutet has shown that spice can make much stronger and longer effect with much lower dosage than actual marijuana does, because synthetic components of spice react with our body systems much more fully and intensively than herbal content of regular weed is able to.
Can spice be detected by drug testing?
Yes, it can. However, as spice is mostly synthetic drug, it requires special tests aimed at detection of synthetic components respectively. Very few employers go for that, partly because of extra expenses the procedure needs, partly because of overall complexity of its arrangement. Still, some traces of spice can be found short time after consumption in regular urine drug testing, in which case an analysis will show false-positive result for marijuana. Thus, it depends on one’s employer whether they would go for more sophisticated testing, and its one’s personal task to think what precautions can be taken in such a case.
Nevertheless, advanced testing will discover drug traces in one’s system.
- Urine tests aimed at detection of synthetic drugs, will show the presence of drug metabolites within up to 72 hours since its use by a person.
- Blood testing will come positive if there’s been between 24 and 48 hours since last drug consumption.
- Saliva testing is the least effective and is not normally used because of it when it comes to spice detection, with any kind of synthetic components of the drug being gone from a person’s oral fluid after maximum of 24 hours, as it is a brand of the spice drug that determines length of its staying in one’s system.
- Hair testing, however, is the one that will almost certainly give one away, with hair preserving drug traces for up to months after drug use, depending on intensity of smoke of other reasons ensuring its high amount in a person’s organism.
Also, such factors as age, body mass, dosage, term of abuse and way of taking the drug, as well as efficiency of liver work and individual’s genetic profile all play their part in determining the amount of time spice will be detectable in one’s body.