Synthetic marijuana sends thousands to ER
Some may think that synthetic marijuana is less dangerous than the real drug. Maybe it is being used because people perceive that since it is legal in some states or that since it doesn't show up on drug tests, it can't be that bad for you. But a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that synthetic marijuana was associated with 11,406 emergency room visits in 2010.
Commonly sold under the names K2, Spice and Blaze, these substances claim to have the same effects of marijuana but are not necessarily derived from the plant. Instead, these drugs do have plant origins – including many herbs – but then are sprayed with chemicals which can produce toxicity.
Despite not being illegal in the United States, the synthetic drugs still have serious side effects, including seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, tremor, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, agitation and non-responsiveness. Of those who visited the ER after using the substances, 75% were between the ages of 12 and 29 and 78% were male.