Teen Took Just One Hit of This “Spice” And Died Because Of It
At 19 years of age, young people have many decisions ahead of them. They ponder on whether to go to college. They might weigh their options of which college to attend. Older teens might decide to take some time off, work and earn money for school or perhaps embark on an adventure. Some may have a significant other and begin learning what being involved in an intimate relationship entails. Most have their entire lives ahead of them and will make many decisions in the future. These options are no longer available to Connor Eckhardt. He made the decision to experiment with the substance known as K2 or Spice. That decision ended his life.
In remembrance of her son and to warn other families, Veronica Connor began the Connor Project. Many individuals, families and communities across the United States have experience with a wide range of designer drugs. In head shops, convenience stores and on the Internet, the products are commonly labeled and advertised as being anything from bath salts and herbal incense to jewelry cleaner, plant food or potpourri. However, drug users know otherwise.
K2 or Spice Defined
Commonly referred to as K2 or Spice, the substance is synthetic marijuana. The product is also referred to as Black Mamba, Bliss, Bombay Blue, Genie, fake weed or Zohai. Synthetic marijuana comes packaged in small, metallic-like silver bags or in liquid form. The products are a combination of herbs, spices and shredded plant materials that are usually sprayed with synthetic THC. THC is the natural chemical compound contained within cannabinoids that produce the characteristic high. However, synthetic weed causes other symptoms.
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Synthetic cannabinoids are smoked, consumed in tea or mixed into food. Once inhaled or consumed, within three to five minutes, the user becomes agitated and the skin pales. They may experience abdominal discomfort. They become nauseated and vomit. Users often become paranoid, have delusions or audio and visual hallucinations. Some users become unusually violent or have suicidal thoughts. The effects of the drug can last anywhere from one to eight hours.
Life-threatening effects include increased blood pressure and pulse increase, which may lead to chest pain, a heart attack or stroke. The individual may have seizures and uncontrollable muscle spasms throughout their body. Loss of consciousness may occur. The compounds within synthetic marijuana may also lead to organ damage, organ failure and death.
Drug users do not realize the dangers behind using K2, Spice or similar products. The manmade chemicals found within the substances are up to 1,000 times stronger than the THC found in traditional marijuana. Once bound to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, users experience life-threatening effects.
Disturbing News Reports
Various reports convey that while under the influence of synthetic cannabinoids, users stabbed themselves or suffered fatal self-inflicted gunshot wounds secondary to the delusional and hallucinogenic effects of the drug. A synthetic cannabinoid substance known as “Smacked” caused 41 accidental overdoses throughout the state of New Hampshire as of 2014. In response, the governor declared a State of Emergency.
In the summer of 2014, more than 260 people were admitted to Colorado hospitals due to medical problems stemming from the use of synthetic marijuana. Ten percent of the patients were put on life support.
Synthetic Marijuana is Illegal
Synthetic Marijuana is deemed illegal under DEA legislation. However, production in China and other countries continues. Newly manufactured chemical compounds and packaging continually wait in the wings if needed to counteract the efforts of drug enforcement officials.