Drug and substance abuse is one of the biggest concerns in the community. When used properly, most drugs and substance are helpful to our body. However, improper use of medication, drugs and chemical substances whether legal or illegal can be extremely dangerous. Drugs not only affect the normal functioning of the body but can also make people exhibit aggressive and violent behaviors. Some of the most abused drugs include alcohol, tobacco as well as drugs procured over the counter. There are other stronger drugs that could cause severe health problems such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and Crystal Meth among others. However, this paper will discuss synthetic marijuana, its harm to individuals as well as the community.
Synthetic marijuana also referred to as spice, potpourri and K2 is a highly dangerous drug that causes devastating effects to the abuses (Forman, 2015). The drug is manufactured in the lab where different chemicals are sprayed to dried, shredded plant material. Synthetic marijuana have activated the CB1 receptor in the brain (Walton, 2014). It is important to note that the synthetic cannabinoids can be more than 1005 stronger as compared to normal marijuana. All the different synthetic chemicals used to manufacture synthetic marijuana are illegal but it is still smuggled and used in the United States. Many people still use the drug by smoking, inhaling or injecting themselves so as to experience the high that is attributed to this substance. People who have used synthetic marijuana says that this drug elevates their move alters their perceptions of the world around and intensifies the feelings of relaxation. Consequently, synthetic marijuana abusers also experience devastating episodes of psychosis as well as other detrimental health risks after abusing K2.
Statistics indicate that the number of users of marijuana has been increasing over the years. The number of people admitted to emergency rooms across the United States has increased significantly. According to Forman (2015), in April 2015 alone 160 people were admitted in New York City. Approximately 100 people were admitted to hospital in Alabama for problems attributed to the use of synthetic marijuana. The number of people admitted under emergency care due to the use of K2 has been a cause of great concern.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana to an individual
Marijuana is made up of a variety of compound chemicals resulting in variation of symptoms. Some of the behavioral symptoms exhibited by the use of synthetic marijuana are sudden and extreme signs of hyperactivity, extreme signs of lethargy (Forman, 2015). On the same note, it results on sudden, uncalled-for and extreme angry outbursts as well as physical violence.
Some of the physical symptoms exhibited by the use of this drug include chest pains, heart palpitations, nausea, headaches, seizures, headaches, panic attacks as well as feeling unusually sleepy. On the other hand, abusers of synthetic marijuana exhibit cognitive symptoms such as confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, disorientation, delusion and altered perception.
Effects of Synthetic Marijuana to the community
The use of synthetic marijuana could lead to violent and irrational behavior. Therefore, the use of synthetic marijuana could cause harm to the community. People using K2 could harm himself or the people around him. People under the use of K2 may subject their family members to domestic violence, abuse among others. For instance, a 21-year-old mother threw her son into a trash bin in August 2013 when high with K2 (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d). When arrested, he could not recall what happened. The police later found her son and turned him to Child Protective Services. An Omaha teen also killed himself after shooting two school administrators in the year 2011 (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, n.d). Such violent behaviors pose a threat not only to individuals but the community as a whole.
The use of synthetic marijuana may also increase crime rate within the community. According to Wessinger, Moran, & Seely (2015), addicts of drugs such as synthetic marijuana tend may resort to stealing to obtain money to purchase drugs. People high on drugs are also carefree and tend to get the courage to commit serious crimes such as robbery, murder, assault. Synthetic marijuana is illegal and tends to be sold by cartels. Such cartel always resorts to violence when they are provoked or if the purchase goes wrong.
The use of synthetic marijuana could also cause impairment and paralysis (Wessinger, Moran & Seely, 2015). People high on K2 could cause accidents on the roads while driving motor. The use of K2 impairs individuals ability to accurately judge while driving vehicles. There are quite a number of accidents that occurred because individuals driving are under the influence of drugs. Such accidents could cause extreme fatalities and injuries to people. Doctors abusing substance could also cause damage to the patient because of malpractice. Such injuries and fatalities result in huge costs to gather for damages and costs incurred during treatment of injured parties.
It is evident that the use of synthetic marijuana causes negative consequences to the society. The harm caused by the use of synthetic marijuana does not only affect the individuals abusing the drug but also the people around them. According to Forman (2015), there is no antidote that can be administered to a person who has taken synthetic marijuana. Therefore, clinicians treat complications and hope that the person will be able to return normal without causing too much damage to themselves or people around them. Therefore, the only solution to the synthetic marijuana menace is to educate people on the effects of synthetic marijuana. Parents should also educate and counsel their teens not to use such drugs as they are capable of causing serious harm to them and other people around them.
Forman, H. (2015). The Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana. Usnews.com. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/08/18/the-dangers-of-synthetic-marijuana
Walton, A. (2014). Why Synthetic Marijuana Is More Toxic To The Brain Than Pot. Forbes.com. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/08/28/6-reasons-synthetic-marijuana-spice-k2-is-so-toxic-to-the-brain/#1d0c9d5873b1
Wessinger, W. D., Moran, J. H., & Seely, K. A. (2015). Synthetic cannabinoid effects on behavior and motivation. In Cannabinoid Modulation of Emotion, Memory, and Motivation (pp. 205-224). Springer New York.
Foundation for a Drug-Free World (n.d).Synthetic MarijuanaLong-term Effects. Foundation for a Drug-Free World. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/synthetic/synthetic-marijuana-long-term-effects.html
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