Spice is generally thought of as a “Synthetic Marijuana.” Products sold as Spice are packets of dried plant materials sprayed with synthetic marijuana-like compounds. Spice is sold over the counter under many different brand names. It is often labeled as “incense” or “potpourri” and “not for human consumption”. There are over 140 different Spice products, 5 of which have basic compounds listed as Schedule 1. Substances that are categorized as Schedule 1 have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule 1 substances include: heroin, LSD, peyote and Ecstasy.

The effects of Spice are similar to Marijuana effects (altered space/time perception, intoxication, amotiviation) but also include increased heart rate. Under the influence of Spice, users oftentimes begin vomiting, are confused, suffer extreme anxiety, delusions and paranoia, and can have seizures. The fact that Spice causes paranoia can lead users to violence against themselves or against others. Spice compounds can be up to 100 times stronger than marijuana and can result in irreversible psychosis and fatal overdoses.

Spice is an extremely dangerous drug of abuse. Driving use among adolescents is their “perception of harm.” Many teens perceive that Spice is harmless incense or potpourri and “not really a drug” or “not as dangerous as other drugs”. Because of these misinformed attitudes, use is on the rise.

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