Essex County, MA, is dealing with issues regarding teenage substance use. Boston Magazine reports that communities in Massachusetts, such as Essex County, struggle with drug use. Teen use and abuse of synthetic substances are dangerous and on the rise. Consequently, synthetics are a threat.
The active ingredient in synthetic marijuana (also called spice) is a liquid sprayed on plant material. This chemical composition varies. Tests show an array of chemicals. We can never be certain of what these drugs contain. Therefore, we must be wary.
If you find packages marked as bath salts or incense, in your home, address the issue immediately. If you need assistance, please reach out for help. These are dangerous substances but you are not alone. We are here to support you. Contact us at Newport Academy, today.
The Origin of Synthetic Marijuana
JWH-018 is one of the original chemicals used to create synthetic marijuana. It was discovered by John W. Huffman, a chemist at Clemson University. Huffman put these chemicals in development as a replacement to cannabis. As a result, the new drugs made it to the black market when no medical use was found.
Synthetic marijuana is sold in head shops, convenience stores, and online. The legality of synthetic marijuana varies from state to state. It is outlawed in many states. As a result, police in Massachusetts are cracking down.
Communities Take Action
Many Essex County, MA, and other Massachusetts communities seek their own ordinances against these products:
- The Eagle Tribune reports an investigation which bans synthetic marijuana in Salem, MA. This was placed into effect in 2012.
- Attleboro, MA banned the synthetic drugs from local shelves in June, 2013.
Other communities developed programs in order to handle this problem. But the drug continues to make headlines:
- An Andover man entered Connecticut carrying 22 pounds of the product was arrested and held on a $75,000 bond
- A Marblehead man drove his truck into a garage while high on K2. He was arrested by local police.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) dealt with the problem by invoking “emergency powers“. A federal bill has since passed.
Effects of Synthetic Substances
The effects of synthetic drugs are sometimes said to mimic those of cocaine more than marijuana. In addition, it often has the opposite physical effect of marijuana.
Some effects include:
- Increased heart rate
Most noteworthy, a simple list such as this does not illustrate the danger of this drug. It is highly unpredictable. Although some report a mellow high, most describe strange, scary trips. They feel out of control and terrified. Furthermore, users sitting in a chair describe the sensation of traveling in one direction, then reversing to the opposite direction. Other symptoms include convulsions and foaming at the mouth. Therefore this type of drug is nothing to ignore or minimize.
Common Street Names
It’s not always easy to identify the use of synthetic marijuana in their teen. Often, synthetic marijuana is stamped with the warning, “Not intended for human consumption.” It may be called “plant food,” “potpourri,” or “incense.” Hence, we must be careful with packaging.
Specific product or brand names are too many to list, but some include:
The Synthetic Marijuana Problem
Synthetic marijuana was first detected by US Customs in 2008. Use increases each year. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 2,906 calls were related to synthetic marijuana in 2010. The number doubled to 6,959 the next year. In only the first month of 2012, there were 639 calls. Consequently, the danger is growing.
Dangerous Chemical Compounds
What is illegal one day may reappear the next under the same name but as “new and improved”. It might also boast a slightly different chemical formula. Furthermore, shop owners don’t have the time to check if items are illegal or dangerous.
Due to the random ingredients, it is impossible to design a test that will identify the use of a drug like this.
The White House issued a report. The Fact Sheet on Synthetic Drugs calls the use of synthetic marijuana “alarmingly high.” Hence, the concern is great.
Do Not Ignore Teen Synthetic Drug Abuse
Essex, MA, is not alone dealing with these dangerous drugs. The whole country is in a drug epidemic. At Newport Academy, we’re here to assist. Call now for more information about our teen-focused, treatment program designed to help your child get back on track today. Most of all, please know that you are not alone.