New 'Deadly' Drug Is One Your Teen Can Buy Legally

Kurtis Hildreth was a healthy 18-year-old, according to his family members, who never had a heart condition or experienced seizures. Two months ago, the Alaskan teen was found dead in his bedroom with a pipe filled with a synthetic brand of marijuana known as Spice at his feet. Although the medical examiner's office declared the cause of his death to be "undetermined," Kurtis' family feels the catalyst was obvious: Spice. Now they are making it a priority to spread the word about this drug, which is totally legal and gaining in popularity among some teens. 

Spice is a chemical made in China that is sprayed with dried plant material and marketed as a type of incense. It resembles potpourri and, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is sold under the following names: K2, Yucatan Fire, fake weed, skunk, and moon rocks. Manufacturers are able to get around laws by labeling their products "not safe for human consumption" and by constantly changing the chemicals in their mixtures so that they can't be accused of using Schedule I controlled substances, which are illegal to buy.

It's really difficult to prove whether Spice has caused any deaths, a sad fact for Kurtis' family, whom I'm sure would like closure and for their son's death to ignite changes in the synthetic marijuana industry. We do know that, in addition to producing feelings of relaxation and elevated mood in users of Spice, other side effects of the drug sound way nastier than those of actual marijuana: some users report having hallucinations, anxiety, and paranoia.

The drug has also been associated with raising blood pressure and reducing blood supply to the heart, which could cause a heart attack. Scary stuff.

As with bath salts, cleaning agents, and cough medicine -- legal household items that teens (and adults) can easily abuse -- I'm guessing it's going to be pretty difficult to outright ban a substance like Spice. As parents, I'm not sure what else we can do except teach our kids about the various drugs that are being used and provide facts about each so they don't take a friend's word that something is safe just because it's legal. 

Have you heard of Spice? How do you handle drug issues with your teen? 

 

Image via k2incense.com

 

addiction, drugs & alcohol, news, safety

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nonmember avatar kelly

this is not new in the least. old news and it is illegal where I live.

lalab... lalaboosh

It's illegal here in WA.

Heavy... Heavy_Pipe

This must be an old story. The active ingredient was banned a couple of years ago. Though I can say this will make you F like a bunny rabbit

Tim Greenwood

I live in Canada and we have our own Canadian Brand up here which is similar called "The IZMS". We have been busy educating the public about the dangers of these drugs. Here up in Canada the producer seems to just use Synthetic Cannabinoids but in the product that comes from China and overseas they add any number of chemicals that are psychoactive and some of them can lead to overdose and death in large doses. One of the problems with Spice is youth think of it as "Fake Weed" when it can actually be up to 100 times more potent. There is no record in history of anyone dying of an overdose of Weed but there are now several Coroner's reports attributing death to Synthetic Cannabinoids in North America. (Just check the "Vaults of Erowid" - they even list it there.)

nonmember avatar ChristyJackson

Do you realize that you are linking to a store that sells this poison? Please change it to a site that is trying to help people get off this disgusting drug like http://syntheticmarijuana.info/

Chris... ChristyJackson

Do you realize that you are linking to a store that sells this poison? Please change your link to a site that is trying to help people who are addicted to this junk like http://syntheticmarijuana.info/

nonmember avatar Jim

Uhh.. that link at the bottom is linking to a site that SELLS spice. How can you write an article about how bad it is, and then send people to a site to BUY IT? That's really hypocritical. I'm disappointed.

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