Synthetic marijuana, or synthetic cannabinoids, comprises a group of manmade mind-altering chemicals that are related to the same chemicals found in the marijuana plant. This chemical is then sprayed on dried, shredded plant materials and smoked as herbal incense. Synthetic cannabinoids is also used in “liquid incense” form in which it is inhaled using vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
A study found that 11,406 emergency room visits in 2010 were associated with synthetic cannabinoids. In 2012, research found that 11% of high school seniors in the United States used the drug that year. About 14% of male students used synthetic marijuana, while about 8% of female students used the drug.
Synthetic cannabinoids, like other drugs, do have an addictive potential heightened, even more so by the fact that the chemical composition of the drug can differ from batch to batch. Drug addiction is related to a chemical dependency. Synthetic cannabinoids, like natural marijuana, generally act on the same brain cell receptors as THC. Some synthetic cannabinoids bind more strongly to these cell receptors than marijuana, producing stronger effects. This can eventually lead to the brain producing less dopamine under normal circumstances, forcing a user to seek out more synthetic marijuana in order to feel pleasure or reward.
Synthetic cannabinoids generally have similar effects as their nature-grown counterparts. The main effect of synthetic cannabinoids is a high characterized by an elevated mood, feelings of relaxation, and a detachment from reality.
As synthetic cannabinoids contain various unknown compounds, determining exact effects is unpredictable. Some forms of synthetic cannabinoids may contain chemicals much more harmful or powerful than the THC found in marijuana.
Recent studies suggest a spike in synthetic marijuana dangers. From January 2015 to May 2015, poison centers throughout the United States logged nearly 3,600 calls related to synthetic cannabinoid use. About 1,500 of those calls were from April alone. The first half of 2015 also recorded 15 synthetic marijuana-related deaths, three times more than the previous year.
Medication is an important tool in any drug recovery. Medication can correct chemical imbalances and return you to a healthier homeostasis. Medications also tend to be used to curb cravings and better manage withdrawal symptoms.
As synthetic cannabinoids are relatively new, behavioral therapies and medications haven’t been specifically tested for treatment of addiction. However, doctors may prescribe similar medications and therapies used in marijuana addictions. This may include:
Detox from synthetic marijuana is just the first step to recovery, and it often leads directly into longer rehab programs. These programs give you the tools you need to truly conquer your addiction in the long-term and live a healthy life. During detox it is important to have the support of a medically trained staff and get the treatment needed to manage withdrawal symptoms and get on the path to a full and healthy recovery.
Georgia Drug Detox is dedicated to helping you find and select a detox program that fits your personal needs and gets you on track for recovery. It is important to complete your detox surrounded by supportive professionals who specialize in treating your specific addition, not just addiction in general. Contact us today at (678) 771-6411 and we will walk you through the process today.