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Recognizing Spice Abuse – What Are The Signs And Symptoms?

signs of using spice

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Recognising the signs of drug abuse is one of the first steps to getting help. This is no different with spice. This article will help people to recognize both the physical and psychological spice drug symptoms, in themselves and others. So how can one tell if someone smokes spice

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Table of Contents

Typical Spice Use Symptoms

Spice or synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that mimic the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Due to the similarity synthetic cannabinoids share with marijuana, they also share many of its traits, including one the worst aspects of the drug, its tendency to cause addiction. Even short-term spice users can suffer severe withdrawal if they attempt to quit. This can encourage extended and prolonged usage of the drug.
Symptoms of spice use are usually visible if a person knows what to look for. The signs of spice use can be both physical and psychological.
Spice/Marijuana kin bags in a hand.
Physical symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred Speech
  • Shaking
  • Changes In Appetite

Psychological Signs of Synthetic Weed Abuse

As aforementioned, synthetic weed can affect the brain as much as the rest of the body. There are many signs of synthetic weed abuse on the mind with the most common symptoms not necessarily being the most severe. The most common psychological symptoms of synthetic weed use are:
Shot of a sad young woman sitting in a white room and holding her head

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Delusions or Hallucinations
  • Mood Swings or Agitation
  • Generally Disordered Thought Processes
  • Suicidal Tendencies (In extreme cases)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, spice abuse can also produce psychotic effects, enhancing the paranoia and hallucinations.

Physical Symptoms of Fake Weed Use

Although psychological symptoms of spice use are dangerous, it is also essential to be able to recognize the physical signs of spice use.
Physical signs of someone smoking fake weed include:spice

  • Sweating
  • Temperature Changes
  • Shaking And Trembling
  • A Loss Or Gain Of Appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Slurred Speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Synthetic cannabinoids have also been linked to increased blood pressure, kidney damage and seizures. According to the National Institute Of Drug Abuse, the use of synthetic cannabinoids (spice) is strongly linked with the rising number of drug-related deaths in the USA. This reinforces the dangers of this drug.

Behavioral Deviations of the Spice Addict

Spice addicts will show a range of different behavioral changes due to their addiction. These changes are a part of spice side effects and may go unnoticed if the users do not realize what to look for. It is important to recognize behavioral deviation in a spice user, as the symptoms of spice abuse can place to the user and those around them in danger.
Behavioral deviations may include:

  • Unusual Thought Patterns. Spice users may think about things with less care or forethought
  • Suicidal Tendencies. Synthetic cannabinoid abuse can trigger a lack of self-respect and care. Interlinking with depression, this can be one of the most deadly behavioral and psychological effects of the drug
  • Mood Swings. Due to comedowns and the euphoria of the drug, there will be regular changes in the mood of the user. This can be one of the most evident signs that someone is smoking spice
  • Outbursts of Rage. If one a comedown, a user is more susceptible to their mood being out of character. Many users will be quickly enraged or angered for no reason
  • Sudden Onset Lethargy. The drug can trigger fatigue and dreariness in users and lethargy is a common behavioral trait in those who use
  • Depression. Synthetic cannabinoids can cause the user to become very down and struggle to be upbeat. Depression can then create many other behavioral spice use symptoms
  • Lack of Interest In Hobbies. Hobbies that a spice user was once passionate about often go out of the window when they become reliant on the drug. This tends to be due to the lethargy and depression the drug can produce. Furthermore, the drug is usually the main thought of the abuser
  • Distancing From Family and Friends. When addicted to synthetic cannabinoids, an individual tends only to seek the drug. This then means their family and friends are pushed away by their mood swings and their only desire to take more spice

Other telling behavioral changes may involve money or their job. An addict can suddenly begin to struggle with day to day tasks, and their role may suffer as a consequence of that. In turn, addicts may have less of an income. An addict can also regularly need more money, as the main thing on their mind will be where their next dosage is coming from.
These behavioral changes make spice users identifiable. This is important as it means they can be helped and supported at an earlier stage in their cycle of abuse, meaning their reliance on the drug decreases.

The Importance Of Spotting The Signs

As one can see, spice abuse symptoms can come in a variety of forms. However, all these forms should be treated with just as much care. The physical and psychological signs of abuse, as well as behavioral deviations, are all their for recognition and when noticed, the user can get the help they will need. Recognising the signs of spice abuse early can save an addict a lifetime of reliance, and it can keep the relationships they have with those around them. There is no time to wait for starting recovery for spice addiction.

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Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


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