Called “legal weed” “synthetic weed” or more technically named “cannabinoid alternative” synthetic marijuana types have gained popularity as well as notoriety in recent years. Clusters of overdoses, isolated overdose events, and chronic addiction has resulted from the widespread availability of synthetic marijuana. Perhaps the most striking difference between synthetic and normal marijuana is the overdose. To date, there are no reported overdoses on marijuana. Marijuana can cause a disruptive impairment of judgment and perception which can lead to accidental deaths. Compared to synthetic marijuana, the effects are minimal.
Like other synthetic drugs, the chemical formula of synthetic marijuana is easy to manipulate. As a result, it is challenging for government agencies and law officials to stay ahead of the drug. Regularly adding forms of synthetic marijuana to the list of officially banned substances is helpful, but does not eliminate the problem. Sold as “natural” home products like potpourri and incense, synthetic marijuana is advertised as having natural elements, though it contains few. Instead, the harsh concoctions of chemicals can lead to severe side effects including heart failure, seizure, intense hallucination, and episodes of psychosis. These side effects mirror many other synthetic drugs, yet are more common in synthetic marijuana. According to data released in the Global Drug Survey of last year, 2016, synthetic marijuana will lead to more emergency room medical treatments than any other drug. Considering the recent devastating effects of volatile synthetic drugs like Flakka, Krokodil, and crystal meth, that makes synthetic marijuana a dangerous substance.
Why Is Synthetic Marijuana Addicting?
Regularly experiencing psychosis, seizure, hospitalization, and other severely adverse effects might not sound like an appealing draw to synthetic marijuana. However, many become extremely addicted to the drug. Any synthetic substance creates a powerful surge of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain which sends signals of pleasure to other areas of the brain. Quickly, the brain develops a tolerance and a dependency on the drug. It does not take many uses of synthetic marijuana for addiction to develop.
Is Recovery Possible? Early intervention of synthetic marijuana addiction is the most effective way to produce a lifetime of addiction. If you are concerned you or a loved one might be developing an abusive pattern with synthetic marijuana, there is help available. From residential detox services through a full continuum of care, Avalon By The Sea provides trusted programs of excellence for recovery from substance use disorders. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today at 888-958-7511.