In August 2018, over 100 people in New Haven, Connecticut overdosed on synthetic cannabinoids in a park near Yale University. Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2, spice, or fake weed, actually do not contain marijuana. They are man-made chemicals that can be either sprayed on dried plants and smoked or sold as liquids to be inhaled in e-cigarettes or other vape devices. Medical professionals who administered Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of overdose, revived many.
An article on synthetic cannabinoid overdoses by Steve Almasy for CNN (2018) states, “They [synthetic cannabinoids] can be anywhere from 2 to 100 times more potent than THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, researchers have said. That wide range is because the drugs that are used change from batch to batch.”
Since the contents in each batch can vary significantly, users are at high risk of overdose or early death. These products often contain substances that cause different effects from what is expected. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, synthetic cannabinoids cause psychotic effects, such as severe anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations.
Synthetic cannabinoids can also cause serious mental and physical health problems including rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, and they can be addictive.
Earlier in 2018, three people died and more than 100 were sickened after taking synthetic cannabinoids. Devin Powell wrote an article on the effects of synthetic marijuana for the Scientific American (2018) and stated, “An ongoing investigation has identified a likely culprit in the blood of those affected: rat poison, specifically brodifacoum.” Symptoms were documented by poison centers in the Midwest and Maryland, where people who used synthetic cannabinoids were suffering from unexplained bruising, coughing up blood, bleeding from the nose and gums, blood in urine and feces, and excessively heavy menstruation.
Synthetic cannabinoids are deadly. If you or a loved one suffers from drug abuse or addiction, get help today. Addiction is complex, but recovery from addiction does happen. Get help now and embrace the opportunity of a new, sober lifestyle.
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