News stories chronicling the dangers of synthetic cannabis – commonly referred to as spice – are becoming increasingly common. Use of the chemical-laden product has been linked to serious health issues and even death.
One of the most disturbing spice-related incidents involves a young lady who ultimately experienced a psychotic breakdown as a result of smoking the synthetic drug.
Spice-Induced Catatonic Psychosis
Long-term spice use nearly ruined the life of a 19-year-old woman living in Spain. In April 2011, she got her first taste of synthetic marijuana. For the next year, she smoked synthetic cannabis on a daily basis. As time went by, effects of the continued abuse became obvious.
In November 2011, the girl’s friends and family members began to notice some serious behavioral changes. She developed severe paranoia, believing that a group of people were watching her. She eventually became so delusional that she would talk to herself, carrying on lengthy conversations with no one at all.
As time went by, the young woman grew increasingly detached from reality. Visual hallucinations were also experienced, causing her to see bright, white angels floating around in the bathroom. She spent hours standing in an awkward hunchback position, while her neck, head, and arms became stiff and rigid.
The Recovery Process
Coming off spice was an uphill battle. She sought treatment at a Valencia clinic in May 2012. After two months of intensive treatment, she was able to see a small improvement with movement and coordination. It took the better part of two years for her physical symptoms to disappear. Doctors at the rehab facility prescribed medications commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and Parkinson's disease. Not until June 2013 did she fully recover.
Risks and Side Effects of Spice
- Increased risk of irregular heart rate
- Higher risk of seizures
- Damage to kidney health
- Symptoms are unpredictable
What’s in this Stuff?
When spice products were analyzed, scientists discovered that many of the ingredients used to make spice were not the same as those listed on the packaging. As it stands today, scientists still don’t know all the ingredients or chemicals that are being used to manufacture synthetic cannabis. With a list of mystery ingredients and potential life-altering side effects, professional treatment can literally be a life saver.