CHICAGO, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment, the largest provider of substance abuse treatment in Illinois, has a simple message for adults and teens: stay away from synthetic marijuana also known as K2 and Spice to avoid its harmful effects, such as seizures, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting or even death from overdose. Although synthetic marijuana was banned for sale in Illinois stores earlier this year, adults and teens are still accessing K2 and it concerns the treatment team at Gateway Foundation.
K2 and Spice are two popular brands of synthetic marijuana, however the high these products induce is completely unpredictable, which is actually part of the appeal for risk takers. Some brands of synthetic marijuana may result in a slightly mellow feeling while others may create significant psychological distress. Even within the same brand, the effects may vary from packet to packet.
"Some of the initial appeal of K2 is that it isn't often tested for and therefore rarely detected in urinary drug tests. However, the clinical team at Gateway Foundation has observed the life-altering effects of this unpredictable drug and K2 is not worth any of the health risks that are associated with its use," explains Gateway Foundation Springfield Program Director and Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Brittany Ottino.
Gateway Foundation has noticed a trend in increased admissions for K2 abuse since fall 2011. Individuals in substance abuse treatment at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment confirm the effects of K2 use, such as:
Hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety and over-activation of the central nervous system (e.g., elevated temperature, rapid heartbeat) are common. One individual reported he felt as though his heart was poundi