If you’re struggling with an addiction to K2 Spice, or know someone who is, it’s likely that you’re concerned and want to know as much information as possible about the drug, its addiction potential, and perhaps most importantly, how to get treated for its addition.
What can start as irregular, recreational use can soon spiral out of control when addiction takes hold. This is why it's paramount for you to learn as much as possible about K2 Spice addiction — and we’re here to help.
The empathetic, multidisciplinary treatment team at 12 Keys Rehab can help you to get back into the driver’s seat and to take control of your K2 drug symptoms and addiction. Here at our waterfront Florida location, you can safely detox and begin to rebuild your life in an environment that’s conducive for your healing.
Our team of qualified specialists has many years of experience helping clients just like you tackle their addiction. You’ll find that the atmosphere at 12 Keys Rehab is filled with compassion, kindness and acceptance. If you or someone you love is currently addicted to Spice, we have the information and treatment modalities you need to break the habit, beginning today.
K2, or Spice, is a mixture of shredded plant material, spices or herbs that is usually sprayed with a synthetic chemical compound that’s similar to the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
While regular marijuana is a mildly hallucinogenic depressant, Spice contains some dangerously unstable chemicals that act as very powerful stimulants, and are consequently capable of generating some very serious side effects.
K2 is usually smoked, either in pipes or joints, or vaped, although some users make it into a tea. The drug, which is said to resemble potpourri, is typically sold in small bags and marketed as a type of smokeable incense.
Spice can be a difficult drug to identify, as it is sold in many different forms and made up of a variety of different chemicals. Generally promoted as a cannabis replacement, the drug can be bought online, in convenience stores or in head shops.
This “legal high” finally became illegal in the U.S. in 2011. However, this just made sellers go underground.
Spice is usually made in China and southeast Asia, where the chemicals needed to make the drug are not regulated. Taking Spice is a particularly dangerous pastime, and if you feel you have a problem, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
The thing about K2 Spice is that the drug is specifically made to be abused. That is, it has no value whatsoever in terms of promoting health or actually having any other specific use at all, apart from enabling you to get high.
What Does K2 Spice Do to the Brain?
K2 Spice acts on the same receptors in your brain cells as THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. As it stands today, there have been very few scientific studies of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain. What’s known is that some of these synthetic drugs bind to your cell receptors in a far stronger way than marijuana, and they likely produce far stronger effects as a result.
The chemical composition of K2 Spice can change from batch to batch, so the effects of the substance can vary considerably from person to person.
Once you develop an addiction, your brain is essentially rewired to use drugs, no matter the consequences. Further, you’ll find that even after you have been through detox, you may still be triggered to take Spice, depending on the situation you’re in or the emotions you’re going through.
That said, you can achieve full and lasting recovery with the right help and support. What you do need to realize is that treatment is an ongoing, lifetime process. There are no quick fixes.
Who Typically Abuses K2 Spice?
The drug seems to be particularly popular among younger people, who feel that K2 abuse isn’t as dangerous as abusing regular marijuana.
In fact, since the drug arrived on the scene several years ago, it has become the second most used drug among teenagers in the U.S.
K2 Spice is often used by people on probation or parole, as some believe that their use of the drug won’t show up in tests. People who abuse K2 Spice may also have another co-occurring disorder.
What Types of Co-occurring Disorders Exist With K2 Spice?
If you are taking K2 Spice, you can often suffer from a co-occurring disorder alongside your addiction. This means that you have an emotional or psychiatric illness, as well as a struggle with addiction. This, in turn, will make it all the more difficult to kick your habit without the right support.
Mental health issues frequently go hand in hand with addiction. Perhaps you began using Spice to make your illness symptoms go away, or perhaps the co-occurring disorder appeared as a result of your drug use.
Spice is known to cause hallucinations, paranoia, intense fear and even homicidal or suicidal thoughts, which can persist even after abstaining from the drug for several months. With this in mind, it’s very difficult to get out of the cycle of addiction by yourself, and professional diagnosis and help is imperative under these circumstances.
This is why it’s important to get the right help. If you’re struggling with one or more mental illnesses as well as an addiction, it’s important to seek dual diagnosis treatment from knowledgeable professionals. At 12 Keys Rehab, we are very experienced with helping people struggling with co-occurring disorders to recover and lead clean and fulfilling lives.
Some of the co-occurring disorders that might be present if you’re addicted to Spice include:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit disorder
How Addictive is K2 Spice?
Just like any other drug, K2 Spice has the potential to become addictive if abused, with the likelihood of addiction increasing with long-term use. If you use the drug regularly, you can experience K2 withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
Can People Become Addicted to K2 Spice?
The short answer to this is yes, people can easily become addicted to K2 Spice. Although the drug is marketed as a “legal high,” the dangers are very real, and the drug has been known to cause very dangerous side effects like seizures and psychotic episodes.
Using a supposed legal drug can seem less of an issue to the user than taking something like regular marijuana or other drugs like heroin. However, there is still a very real risk of becoming addicted to Spice.
If you’re using Spice, you’re running the risk of inflicting seriously detrimental effects on your health, such as seizures, coma and even death. This is why it’s crucial to seek help as soon as you can.
At 12 Keys Rehab, we have years of experience helping people just like you recover from addiction, and we can help you get your life back on track after a K2 Spice addiction.
Key Statistics about Abuse and Addiction to K2 Spice
K2 Spice usage and abuse is on the rise, as evidenced by these enlightening statistics:
- According to statistics from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), harmful effects from taking the drug were initially reported in the U.S. back in 2009, with poison centers receiving calls about 3,680 exposures to the drug in 2014 alone. By June 2015, the number of reports had risen to an alarming 4,270.
- The AAPCC also noted that between 2009 and 2012, there was a very sharp rise in emergency room visits, calls to police and calls to Poison Control Centers relating to synthetic marijuana.
- In 2012, as many as 11 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. had used synthetic marijuana in the previous year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Of the 11,406 synthetic weed-associated visits to the E.R. in 2010, 75 percent of these involved young adults between the ages of 12 to 29. 77.5 percent of these visits involved males and 22.5 percent involved females.
What are the Signs of a K2 Spice Addiction?
If you’re worried that you or your loved one may be suffering from a K2 addiction, there are some signs you can look out for. Bear in mind though, that spice addiction can be hard to pinpoint purely based on someone’s behavior, as the chemicals in the drug can affect people in different ways.
You may need to use some detective work to figure out if your loved one has a Spice addiction problem. Here are some things to look out for:
- Refusing to do anything else apart from smoking Spice
- Mixing Spice with other illegal substances to get a better high
- Seeming obsessed with taking and obtaining the drug
- Suffering from extreme grogginess or sleepiness, and being difficult to rouse as a result
- Losing ambition to do anything in life
- Displaying violence, apathy, hallucinations and/or behavioral problems
- Having a different smell. If your loved one smells different — say of regular marijuana, or of a sweet chemical odor — they could be smoking Spice
What are the Symptoms of K2 Spice Addiction?
Although the effects of Spice are similar in many ways to marijuana, the high comes more quickly, and is also more intense. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why you’re more likely to suffer from serious adverse side effects from using Spice than you would if you were smoking weed.
Spice addiction symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe anxiety and agitation
- Panic attacks
- Elevated blood pressure
- Racing heartbeat
- Muscle spasms
- Psychotic episodes
- Intense hallucinations
- Suicidal thoughts
- Debilitating headaches
- Inability to speak
- Loss of consciousness
If you or your loved one is suffering from any of these symptoms of smoking Spice, you need to get help fast.
What is a K2 Spice Addiction Like?
When you’re caught in the grip of a Spice addiction, it can seem like there is no way out. Your days and nights will be centered around smoking and lapsing in and out of consciousness. Your life is controlled by your addiction, and as you lose interest in everything else you once enjoyed, your hopes and dreams will go up in smoke. It’s likely that you will have lost many of your close friends (especially if they don’t share your habit), and the ones you have left will probably be addicted to Spice too.
You may feel ashamed of yourself, and worry that your loved ones will be judging you, and thinking of you as a weak person due to your addiction. It’s natural to feel this way, and to feel disappointed in the person you’ve become.
However, if you’ve recognized you have a problem, that’s a positive sign. The next step is to seek help. You may have tried to kick your habit in the past, but just found it too difficult to do alone. What you need to know is that addiction is a spiritual, mental and physical disease that you need help to overcome.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we focus on real, holistic recovery and will treat you with a combination of body, science, spirit and family, so you learn the skills to live a clean and productive life, free from Spice.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Smoking K2 Spice?
As it is such a new drug, the long-term effects of K2 Spice aren’t yet definitively known. As each batch of the drug tends to contain different chemicals which aren’t regulated, it’s difficult to tell what the long-term effects could actually be.
What is known about the long-term use of Spice is that it is addictive, and experts state that there is a probability of serious, and potentially permanent damage to your health if you take the drug.
Does a K2 Spice Addiction Cause Any Permanent Damage?
As we touched upon previously, you might be unaware of what types of chemicals are sprayed on your Spice, and different batches can have significantly different effects.
Taking Spice is basically like playing Russian roulette with your body. Many have ended up in the emergency room as a result of Spice abuse with frightening symptoms such as:
- A dangerously elevated heart rate
- Dangerously high blood pressure
- Pallid skin
- A heart attack
In fact, these symptoms seem to suggest that Spice is negatively affecting the cardiovascular system of users. Add this to the drug’s negative effects, such as seizures and severe hallucination, on the central nervous system, and you’re risking a fatal outcome every time you take a smoke.
Spice is made without any regulations or strict quality controls, and no one can say what will happen to your health as a result of taking the drug. That’s why quitting is so desperately important for your own health and happiness. These highs are anything but safe.
K2 Spice and Liver Damage
There have been various warnings and reports circulating about the dangers of liver damage when taking Spice. Back in February 2013, the CDC released an alert describing 16 cases of kidney damage as a result of taking Spice.
The initial warning originated in Wyoming, where a total of three people were taken to the hospital with severe kidney damage as a result of Spice abuse. Of the 16 people described in the report, five suffered such severe damage that they required dialysis.
In addition to these worrying findings, back in 2011, three teenage boys experimenting with the drug suffered hearts attacks after smoking it.
Symptoms of a K2 Spice Overdose
Often, when someone overdoses on Spice, it isn’t immediately identified by medical professionals due to the fact that the drug isn’t flagged by most drug tests. Symptoms of Spice overdose include:
- Extreme sleepiness, which leads to coma
- Respiratory depression / significant decrease in respiratory rate
- Low blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest
- Circulatory collapse
If you believe your loved one has overdosed, it’s imperative to seek medical help immediately, and to tell the medical professionals exactly what was taken.
How Does K2 Spice Interact with Other Drugs?
As synthetic marijuana is quite a new drug, there haven’t been many studies on drug interactions. Research on regular marijuana suggests that it shouldn’t be taken alongside anything that slows your central nervous system, for example, alcohol, antihistamines, narcotics, or barbiturates. Regular marijuana also interacts with asthma medications, blood thinners and anti-depressants.
How Long Does it Take to Withdraw from K2 Spice?
If you’ve been using Spice on a regular basis and try to quit, the withdrawal symptoms can be harsh, and can even make it impossible to function. If you’ve ever tried to withdraw from Spice on your own, it’s likely that you’ve lost days or even weeks at work due to the extreme side effects.
Spice withdrawal occurs when your brain is so dependent on the drug stimulating its reward sensors that it stops producing endorphins naturally. Your brain begins to crave the drug in order to feel good, and it transfers the cravings to your body.
Perhaps you’ve been using so heavily, you find that you experience K2 withdrawal symptoms within hours of your last smoke. It’s true that the more you’ve been smoking, the worse your eventual withdrawal will be.
However, you shouldn’t let that prevent you from seeking help. Quitting, with our support, will allow you the best start to your drug-free journey throughout the rest of your life.
What are the Stages of K2 Spice Withdrawal?
Withdrawing from any drug is difficult. However, it can be done with the right help and support. Do try to remember that although Spice withdrawal can be a difficult experience, it is only temporary— and you’ll be a much stronger and healthier person afterward.
Widely reported Spice withdrawal symptoms include:
- Appetite loss
- Uncontrollable diarrhea, vomiting and nausea
- Extreme sweating
- Intense drug cravings
- Inability to relax and to sleep
- Lack of motivation
- Psychotic episodes
- Inability to care about consequences
- Suicidal thoughts
- Vivid nightmares
- Restlessness, anxiety and tremors
- Kidney damage or failure
You’ll experience your initial withdrawal symptoms within the first few hours of quitting Spice, and these will usually persist for days or even weeks, depending on how heavily you have been hitting the drug. Generally speaking though, most withdrawal symptoms take around a week or more to pass.
The intensity of your withdrawal symptoms also depends on how long you’ve been using, what’s in the Spice you’ve been taking and on your own body chemistry.
As Spice withdrawal symptoms can be severe, you need to ensure that you have as strong a support system as possible to help you through it. Here at 12 Keys, we offer round-the-clock care and support to you in your time of need.
How Can I Help My Loved One Recover from a K2 Spice Addiction?
If you’re reading this and recognize that someone you know and love is suffering from a Spice addiction, you may feel frightened and overwhelmed. At 12 Keys Rehab, we offer you and your loved one support throughout every stage of their Spice addiction treatment.
We realize how easy it is to be caught up in their cycle of addiction by accidentally enabling behaviors, and we can show you how to positively help your loved one kick the habit.
If you’re currently lost and unsure about what the best course of action is, there are three important things you can do:
- Don’t enable your loved one. Don’t give them any money or resources that will allow them to keep buying drugs. This may sound like tough love, and it is. However, you will be helping them in the long run.
- Work on positive enabling instead. Work with your loved one to help them change. Let them know that you love them, and that you can no longer help them to stay addicted. Talk with them about entering recovery with 12 Keys Rehab - support that has been proven time and time again to bring about sustained and quality sobriety.
- Seek professional help. Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we’re always just a call away. Our crisis line is open 24/7. We will help you and your friend or relative by providing you with all the necessary tools and support to lead a drug-free and productive life.
Once your loved one begins their recovery there are a few things you can try to make the whole process easier:
- Find the time to finally focus on yourself and on your own life. It’s likely that you’ve been worrying and possibly neglecting your own happiness for a considerable time. Work on finding yourself again.
- Detach yourself from your loved one’s behavior. This will help you to view their recovery objectively.
- Encourage and nurture harmony and balance in your loved one’s new lifestyle. This can help your loved one to embrace a new calmness in mind and spirit.
There are also a few things you should avoid doing when your loved one is in recovery, such as:
- Coming across as patronizing
- Blaming or nagging them about their former drug use
- Checking up on them to see if they’re in possession of Spice
It’s also important to avoid false expectations. Once your loved one begins recovery, your lives won’t suddenly be better. Their drug use was probably a coping mechanism, and once treatment starts, they won’t have that anymore. It will take time to see the positive personality changes that you’re hoping for — but they’ll come. Eventually, you’ll be on track to reestablishing a new life free of substance abuse.
How Do You Safely Detox from K2 Spice?
The thought of detoxing can be scary, especially when you feel alone with your addiction. It’s important to remember that once you detox successfully, you’ll regain control over your life, rather than being at the mercy of your addiction and Spice symptoms.
Quitting K2 Spice should always be done with the correct support and treatment, rather than trying to go it alone. Detoxing without professional supervision can be dangerous, and the risk of relapse is also far higher when you try to detox by yourself.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we will equip you with all the knowledge and tools you will need to help kick your synthetic weed addiction for good. Yes, it will involve hard work and effort, as well as a great deal of willpower, but it can be done. You also need to be ready to make some drastic lifestyle changes. However, with our supervision, constant monitoring and support, your journey will be easier.
Dangers for Severe Addicts Quitting K2 Spice Without Assistance
Whether you’ve been using Spice for only a few weeks or for many months, kicking the habit can be incredibly difficult. The main reason why, is that the drug is associated with some incredibly harsh K2 symptoms of withdrawal.
Extreme paranoia, high blood pressure, nightmares, hallucinations, and suicidal urges are the real dangers, as is the risk of a heart attack, or even death. Spice and seizures are also connected. Extreme diarrhea and vomiting are often widely reported Spice withdrawal symptoms and you can easily become dangerously ill and dehydrated without professional care.
In addition to this, the withdrawal symptoms can potentially last for weeks and can be more intense depending on how long you’ve been using, your body chemistry, and what specific cannabinoid you’ve been taking.
To minimize the risk of irreparably damaging your health, it’s important to ensure you don’t go it alone when you’re trying to quit Spice. The only safe way to detox is to seek professional help.
Spice is made with all manner of chemicals, so withdrawal symptoms can vary based on the region you live in, and the physiology of your body. This is why the drug and the eventual detox is so unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
12 Keys Rehab has the knowledge and therapeutic staff to support you through every stage of your withdrawal — physically, mentally and spiritually. This is the best K2 spice-addiction treatment option for living a clean and productive life in the long term.
How is a K2 Spice Addiction Treated?
At 12 Keys Rehab, we offer a comprehensive physical, mental and spiritual healing plan that is fully tailored to you as an individual. No two people are the same, or have the same life experiences, and we get that.
Our treatment programs involve both therapy work and relaxation to provide you with the best opportunity to heal your mind, body and spirit from addiction.
To help you through your new drug-free life, you’ll be teamed up with a counselor, many of whom know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Many of our staff members understand what it’s like to struggle with addiction because they have gone through the same steps to recovery that you are about to embrace.
If you have a co-occurring disorder, our highly qualified staff identifies and treats it through interventions like Motivational Interviewing. All underlying issues are brought to the surface. This will allow you to learn more about yourself and your addiction and enables you to gain control over and beat it once and for all.
Your recovery won’t just be about hard work. There’s plenty of time for fun too — in fact, it’s encouraged! You will have the opportunity to learn new skills to help support your recovery and there’ll be plenty of time for exercise. In addition to this, you’ll still have plenty of free time, so you can just sit and relax with a good book, try out yoga, horseback riding, or even deep sea fishing!
You’ll finally look confidently forward to your future, knowing that we have created for you a fully tailored aftercare plan that will help you maintain your sobriety throughout your life.
Choosing 12 Keys for Your Recovery
Choosing the right recovery center for your treatment is essential. 12 Keys Rehab is happy to provide you strong recovery support system that makes it possible for you to make a full recovery. We promise to be:
- Non-judgmental — with a staff comprising of many recovered addicts.
- Holistic — with a focus on healing not just your body, but also your mind and spirit too.
- Experienced — our staff is both competent and experienced in helping people in situations similar to yours.
- Private — we assure you that every aspect of your care will remain 100% confidential unless you dictate otherwise.
- Available — we are there for you 24/7.
We can help you navigate the difficult road to recovery, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Determining what has led you to this point is important to your recovery, as well as learning coping strategies that don’t involve Spice.
Through psychotherapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), your self-esteem will be raised, and you’ll quickly learn how to turn negative thought processes into positive ones.
Call us today to have an informal chat about your options, and to discuss:
- You or your loved one’s addiction issues
- What we offer
- Potential length of stay
- Treatment options
- Our amenities
- Our accommodations
- The recovery process
- Family involvement
- Payment options
- Insurance coverage
We are available to talk through your options for treating your K2 drug addiction at any time of the day or night. We understand that addiction does not just cause trouble from 9 to 5, so we are here for you when you need the help most.
When you make your call to us, we’ll endeavor to answer all your questions honestly and completely. We’ll offer you the guidance you need, as well as listen to everything you have to say with both ears and without judging.
12 Keys Rehab provides you with full, and tailored care, that promotes a successful recovery from your K2 spice addiction. All aspects of soul, mind, body, and family are explored, as balance is restored to your life. Contact us today.
Call 866-480-4328 to get help now