We live in a generation of easy access. Whether it’s having an Uber immediately pick us up or streaming the latest episodes of our favorite series on Netflix, we are a people who depend on instant access, with as little lag as possible. When it comes to purchasing our drug of choice, the same is true. Gone are the days of waiting around for a connection to answer their phone and leisurely arriving at a meeting place; users are simply walking to the local convenience store and purchasing synthetic drugs, highly dangerous versions on the real thing. The government wants you to know – easy is definitely not best.
K2, Spice, Potpourri, whatever it’s called, it’s bad news. Hospitals across the nation are seeing a rise in overdoses caused by synthetic cannabinoids, with symptoms including seizures, vomiting, increased anxiety, hallucinations, and in some cases, death.
These man-made drugs are full of chemicals and harsh toxins, nothing like real, pure cannabis. In fact, more than 120 different non-FDA-approved chemicals make up synthetic cannabis, and of those 120 chemicals, at least 50 are unregulated or illegal in the United States.
Yet products like this remain legally available in nearly every corner store in America. How? Well, when one version is deemed illegal, chemists simply concoct a new mixture that delivers similar effects and production begins again.
While random plant material dries, these chemicals are showered onto them and allowed to dry. Smoking this spray is what delivers the high. With such a wide range of options in the chemical world, the combinations are nearly endless and authorities must make each compound illegal as they arise.
Synthetic cannabis is sold under more than 500 brand names. The first case of products like this was reported in Dayton, Ohio in 2008. After testing, the product was found to contain only two forms of synthetic cannabinoids. As of 2012, 51 different synthetic cannabinoids have been discovered.
Amphetamines, or speed, is something most high school or college student experiment with at one time or another, usually to help get through the extended hours of studying during midterms or finals.
However, researchers from China have discovered a way to take natural-occurring cathinones, the chemical that makes you zoom, and turn it into a deadly product: bath salts.
This killer compound is derived from the leaf of the Khat tree, found mostly in Africa. After being made into a crystal consistency, resembling regular, plain-old bath salts, the drug is packed into containers, which also are labeled “Not For Human Consumption,” and shipped to America to be sold in stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond and Wal-Mart.
In 2009, authorities were aware of four different types of synthetic cathinones. By 2012 that number skyrocketed to 31. Because of the lack of knowledge surrounding the chemical compounds, there is no way to regulate usage or dosage, making it incredibly easy to overdose.
Users have experienced some pretty bizarre effects, including superhuman strength, memory loss, uncontrollable aggression and insane hallucinations. On more than one occasion, reports indicated that users stripped naked and began attacking people passing by, trying to bite and gnaw at them, and even killing them in some instances.
One police report says a man murdered his dog, and when authorities found him, he was eating the pooch.
Here’s my advice, if you find yourself using drugs like this, get help. Surely some of those compounds are addictive and can lead to dependency, making using harder and harder to stop. Do everyone a favor, remember how much you love your dog, and call authorities for help.
Have you or anyone you know ever used these insane synthetic drugs? Let us know on social media or in the comment section below.