K2/Spice an Unknown Quantity in Potency

In recent years, K2 (or Spice as it is also known), has become a more widely abused new psychoactive substance in the US. An article published in September of this year highlighted the dangers of K2/Spice and its side-effects, as well as its widely spread use.

Figures from 2018 reveal how K2/Spice is a becoming a fast-growing problem as well as the opioid crisis. Between March and June, these synthetic drugs were associated with more than 160 cases of severe bleeding and 4 deaths in central Illinois. In August, more than 100 people overdosed in New Haven, Connecticut, within a two-day period.

Use of K2/Spice use took a hike from 2010 to 2011, with synthetic cannabinoid-related calls to poison centers jumping by 240 percent. More than 31,000 calls were received from 2011 to 2017 in relation to synthetic cannabinoid effects. The National Institute of Drug Abuse highlighted the unpredictable effects of K2/Spice, with similar affects to THC (or cannabis). Effects include suicidal thoughts, violent behaviour, hallucinations and nausea or vomiting.

A major worry, according to Michael Baumann of the National Institute of Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program, is the fact that the quantities of unknown chemicals contained within each product vary greatly from one sample to the next. He says “You don’t know what you are getting in to when you buy it”. Illicit manufacturing and lack of quality control adds to the danger and potency of these drugs, added William Fantegrossi of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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