Spices have been used for centuries to add kick to food. Just a touch of spice can transform something bland into something incredibly tasty. While most parents would love to see their kids add spice to their foods and develop a more sophisticated palette, they might be dismayed to discover that the word “spice” might have a completely different meaning for teens.View related: signs and symptoms of teen drug abuse.
Spice is the name of a drug made up of herbal material sprayed with a synthetic form of marijuana. The drug is intensely popular with adolescents. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that Spice is second only to marijuana in popularity with teens.
Spice tends to have a rapid onset, causing symptoms to arise in just 30 minutes. Those symptoms can last for up to eight hours, giving parents a large window of opportunity in which to spot signs of drug use.
Signs of Spice intoxication can include:
- Very high heart rate
- Inability to speak at all or inability to speak clearly
It’s important to note, however, that Spice is made in laboratories, and there are no regulations on how the drugs are made. Some manufacturers may use different chemical formulations of the drug, while others might use higher doses of active ingredients. Reactions in teens might vary dramatically, depending on the ingredients in the Spice packet they took. Parents who discover their teens exhibiting these dangerous signs of Spice intoxication and who feel medical care is warranted should look for the foil packet the drugs came in, and bring that along to the hospital as well. According to an article in USA Today, not all ER doctors know what Spice intoxication looks like, so having the wrapper could provide important clues.
Teens often grind up Spice so it’s in a fine powder for smoking. Teens who have coffee grinders with herbal residue inside may be using the drug. When it is smoked, it leaves behind a scent of cinnamon or cloves, and that might be another clue parents can look for.
Teens often buy Spice from online vendors, who package up the drugs in innocent-looking boxes and ship them directly to the teen’s house. Teens who suddenly begin to receive a great deal of packages in the home, day after day, might be ordering the drugs online.
At Newport Academy, we have developed programs that specifically address teen addiction issues. If your teen is experimenting with Spice, or has become a habitual user, we urge you to call us today.
We can outline treatment options for your teen, and help link your teen with needed therapies.