Marijuana is one of the most frequently abused substances among young adults. Many believe that marijuana’s side effects are not harmful and that the substance is not addictive nor dangerous.
This misconception has led many young adults to experiment without considering the consequences of their actions.
Marijuana is abused through a number of methods including smoking a hand-rolled cigarette called a joint or through pipes or water pipes called bongs. It is also often baked into food or brewed into teas. Regardless of the method of intake, it can cause a wide variety of side effects that can impair motor and mental functioning.
Spice is gaining popularity among young adults and marketed as a “safe”, legal alternative to marijuana. In reality, spice is a synthetic blend of marijuana that is mixed with chemicals and plants to create mind-altering effects. Sold under names like K2, Moon Rocks or Skunk, spice is available in gas stations and on the Internet. The contents of spice provide no medical benefits and have a high potential for abuse.
There is no regulation on the contents of spice and different brands or batches may vary in content. Spice abuse is second only to marijuana abuse among adolescents partly due to ease of access and the misconception that its branding as “natural” makes it harmless. Spice is often abused through smoking, brewing in tea or mixed with marijuana. While it provides many of the same side effects of marijuana abuse, the compounds in spice have been found to be potentially more potent than marijuana and can cause a number of negative side effects.
Marijuana and spice are more easily accessible than many other illicit substances. With recent legislation to legalize marijuana, concern has grown about the likelihood of young adults embracing and trying it. While many try to minimize the side effects of marijuana abuse and spice, the consequences of abuse can be dangerous and easily addictive. Addiction is often classified through a variety of symptoms including increased tolerance, decreased interest in other activities one previously enjoyed and spending a significant amount of time trying to obtain more. Marijuana abuse and spice abuse can often lead to experimentation with other substances in order to achieve greater highs. For more information about addiction and what treatment options are available, click here.