Synthetic Marijuana Treatment for Christians
What is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug that is much more dangerous and addictive than naturally cultivated marijuana due to the unpredictable nature of its chemical additives. Illegal to sell or use in the U.S., synthetic marijuana is typically offered as "herbal incense" in an attempt by dealers to convince regular pot users that it is legal and safe. Street names for synthetic marijuana include "Spice", "K2", "Smacked" and "Trippy".
Makers of synthetic marijuana do not use real marijuana to make their product. Instead, they spray shredded pieces of incense, herbs and various leafy material with chemicals synthesized in make-shift laboratories that simulate the effect of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Until 2012, selling synthetic marijuana was legal. However, when news stories about people acting irrational, aggressive and suicidal while high on Spice started accumulating, the U.S. DEA went into action and criminalized the use and sale of synthetic marijuana.
Chemicals sprayed on synthetic marijuana are highly addictive and offer no medical benefits. In fact, the DEA designated the majority of these chemicals as Schedule I controlled chemicals. Synthetic cannabinoids found in Spice products include JWH-018, JWH-073 and XLR-11.
Although Spice is illegal in the U.S., many convenient stores, "head" shops and gas stations continue selling these products under the guise that they do not contain true marijuana chemicals. In many cases, owners of stores selling synthetic marijuana keep this drug hidden from law enforcement and only sell products to known dealers and users frequenting their stores. In addition, sellers and makers of synthetic marijuana will not hesitate to sell their products to minors.
Physical and Mental Effects of Synthetic Marijuana
Depending on the amount of chemicals sprayed on a Spice product, effects can range from relaxation and euphoria to extreme agitation and anxiety, hallucinations and paranoia. Other effects of smoking or eating synthetic marijuana include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Profuse sweating
- Irrational behavior
- Muscle tremors/seizing/partial paralysis
Synthetic marijuana can also increase blood pressure so quickly that reduce blood flow to the heart may induce myocardial ischemia and heart attack. People high on Spice have been known to attack others with knives or heavy objects. One Florida man had be shot by police when he overdosed on Spice and tried to kill another man by biting him over and over again.
Long Term Effects of Addiction to Synthetic Marijuana
Spice targets the brain like other addictive drugs, specifically neurotransmitter levels and brain areas responsible for memory, motivation, executive thinking and impulse control. In fact, continuing research into the devastating affects that synthetic marijuana has on the brain shows these affects resemble brain damage suffered by people involved in injuries causing traumatic brain injury.
Contrary to a common belief that brain health is restored after a period of abstinence, an addiction to K2 products will cause changes in brain functioning that are not reversible. Addiction-related brain impairment involving massive neuronal death and shrinkage of brain ventricles may lead to changes in brain architecture that essentially creates "empty" spaces in the brain where gray and white matter once existed. Compromising the health and amount of white matter induces serious deficits in the ability to learn, make decisions and coordinate body movements.
Psychosis and Synthetic Marijuana
Psychosis is a serious mental disorder thought to arise when too much dopamine floods the brain's mesolimbic pathway, one of the primary areas affected by an addiction to synthetic marijuana. Psychotic symptoms seen in Spice users such as hallucinations, delusions and agitation is directly caused by drugs affecting dopamine regulation in the addicted brain.
Our brain is essentially an organ fueled by electrical impulses interacting with neurotransmitters. Spice addicts suffer frequent bursts of abnormal electrical impulses in the brain which interfere with physical and cognitive functioning. Signs that someone is experiencing a seizure due to abusing K2 include convulsions, extreme muscle twitching, stiffening of the body and unconsciousness. A synthetic marijuana addiction can damage the brain enough to cause addicts to suffer recurring seizures even after they stop using.
Although a brain abscess is usually not the direct result of a Spice addiction, it is a common byproduct of addiction due to addicts ignoring serious health problems such as ear infections, teeth and gum infections and even inflammation of the lungs, kidneys or heart. Abscesses in the brain develop when infection enters the brain and collects in the tissue. Infections can also occur if the addict suffers a severe head wound and fails to get proper treatment for it. Symptoms of a brain abscess include fever, headache, confusion, obvious decreases in movement and speech, seizures and eventually, coma.
Christian Synthetic Marijuana Detox and Rehabilitation
Recovering from a synthetic marijuana addiction is a lifelong process demanding resiliency, emotional strength, an unwavering determination to rely on your faith and committing to upholding the Christian way of life. In addition, we teach our patients how to use valuable coping techniques and stress management skills to help handle the difficulties they will inevitably encounter outside of treatment. Through various Christian-based therapeutic treatment modalities and support services, we show our patients that the primary purpose of recovery is to reclaim the satisfying, meaningfully spiritual life that was always there waiting for them to embrace.
Overcoming the Stigma of Being Addicted to Synthetic Marijuana
For all substance abusers, recovery not only involves coping with unexpected encounters with "triggers" that could initiate relapse but also encompasses the social and personal difficulties associated with being labeled an addict. Consequences of addiction not only involve social isolation, unemployment and alienation from loved ones but also neglecting the power that faith and prayer has to restore your serenity and peace of mind.
Spice addicts will inevitably encounter varying degrees of suspicion, disbelief and sometimes outright contempt from those who knew them when they were in the grip of an addiction. In fact, the stigma of addiction can be just as intense as the stigma of mental illness. Our Christian Substance Abuse Treatment Program gives addicts the powerful, spiritual tools essential for defeating addiction, regaining their health and following the path you were meant to follow.
After completing a medically supervised detoxification and counseling program, our patients will be able to handle any negativity coming from those who may not be convinced of the ex-addict's genuine desire to adopt a new lifestyle based on Christian values and beliefs. Additionally, patients will learn how to objectively reinterpret past decisions through cognitive behavioral therapy in order to improve resiliency and gain coping skills that contribute to the success of using stress management techniques learned in therapy.
Constructing this "new" identity additionally demands that patients develop the ability to communicate with family members, friends and even strangers in ways that do not foster resentment, anger or guilt. As patients in recovery continue their journey in life without the false security of addictive substances or behaviors, they will naturally develop a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence in themselves which ultimately elicits positive responses and a more accepting attitude from society.
Having the ability to reflect objectively and with clarity on who they were just prior to entering our Christian Substance Abuse Treatment Program is one of the first steps an addict must take in transitioning from using to recovery. Accepting responsibility for their past addictive behaviors rather than indulging in denial or blaming others for being a drug addict is essential for the reconstruction and reclamation of the "non-addicted" self.
Along with developing the capacity to self-analyze without feeling angry or bitter about what they find within themselves, recovering addicts will also need to come to terms with their past by establishing goals that are liberating and cathartic. These goals may include making amends, if possible, and initiating rational, production discussions with family members or friends for the purpose of repairing relationships.
By completing treatment at our Road to Freedom recovery center and implementing everything learned during the process of detoxification, faith-based psychological therapy and stress management, patients will be adequately equipped to enter the lifelong recovery process and rediscover life as a healthy and productive member of society. Call now for more information (844) 402-3605.