This nation’s drug epidemic is not limited to opioids. There have been soaring numbers of overdoses and drug-related deaths linked to synthetic cannabinoid drugs called K2 and Spice. This “fake weed” is much more dangerous than it sounds, and it is even having an extreme impact on Florida’s prison population.
What is K2/Spice?
K2/Spice is supposed to be a synthetic form of marijuana, targeting the same receptors in the brain as THC. Unfortunately, these drugs are so inconsistent in their makeup that they have proven to be dangerous and even deadly.
Unlike cannabis, K2/Spice can have some disturbing effects. These include aggressive behavior, seizures, heart attacks, and death. There is no one formulation for these drugs, and some are made with dangerous chemicals such as rat poison.
Because of regional variations in the drugs, it is impossible to predict when a “bad batch” of K2/Spice will hit the market and result in disaster. More than 100 people recently overdosed on these drugs in New Haven, CT.
The Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association has released a warning about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. There is also alarming evidence suggesting that Florida’s prison population has been impacted by this deadly drug.
K2/Spice Impacting Florida’s Prison Population
On August 21, the Miami Herald published a detailed report about the deadly impact that K2/Spice use is having on Florida’s prison population. Specifically, total deaths in 2018 are on track to 500, which is a record number as well as a tragedy.
The top killer of prison inmates, according to an internal audit, is K2/Spice. The drug overdose incidents and overdose deaths related to synthetic marijuana have become so common in Florida prisons that the FDC has created an informational video about this drug’s dangers, requiring all 96,253 state inmates and new intakes to watch it.
Officials hope that more awareness will make a difference, but the truth is that many inmates have untreated addiction issues, whether it be to opioids or other drugs. The FDC reports that close to 70 percent of incoming inmates have a substance use disorder. There was a $50 million shortfall in the latest Florida prison budget, which forced the system to cut $28 million worth of treatment programs.
Getting Help for K2/Spice Addiction
Spice/K2 addiction poses a real danger of drug overdose, and there are other short- and long-term health effects from these drugs. People who misuse illicit drugs like this one will often experience withdrawal symptoms, making it difficult to live without the substance for any period.
If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, there is qualified help available. What began as an innocent experiment or social use may have evolved into something you can no longer control. The qualified and compassionate addiction specialists at The Orlando Recovery Center can help.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.