How to treat Spice addiction
The herbal mixture “Spice” (a blend of naturally dried plant material and synthetic sprayed cannabinoids), offered on the market as a marijuana substitute, has manifested variety of side effects, including violent behavior and death. In the following article we review how Spice addiction can be addressed and which facilities offer treatment. If you’re looking for help with Spice addiction, we invite your questions are invited at the end.
Spice addiction treatment: Are you even addicted?
“Spice” was marketed as substance purportedly exerting similar effects to cannabis, but the chemical compounds found in Spice have no medical benefit. Instead, the ingredients found in Spice can be highly abused. In addition to euphoria, Spice abusers report symptoms such as rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart (many cardiologists relate that to heart attack) … not to mention withdrawal symptoms which can occur after regular use. But how can you know if you’re addicted to Spice, or not?
The most common physical and psychological signs of Spice addiction include:
- acute anxiety or paranoia
- compulsion (uncontrollable desire) to use Spice
- continued use of Spice despite negative health or social consequences
- craving Spice
- constant coughing
- feeling of alienation/disassociation from the world
- feelings of nausea or actual vomiting
- inability to hold a thought for longer than a few seconds
- irregular heart beat/palpitations
- loss of concentration
- loss of control of use
- panic attacks
- psychotic episodes
- repeated (failed) attempts to stop using Spice
- tremors or seizures
Treating Spice addiction
There are three main stages to treating Spice addiction:
1. Acute withdrawal, or detox, from Spice
2. Physical stabilization
3. Psychological treatment
How long to withdraw from Spice? Acute withdrawal from Spice can last from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on frequency and intensity of use. Following withdrawal, the addict enters a period of physical stabilization, during which mood disorders and sleep problems may be expected. As with other drug addictions, Spice addiction can be addressed using a combination of psychological and pharmacological treatments. But because synthetic marijuana is relatively new, studies on drug interactions are still undergoing. However it should not be used anything that slows down the central nervous system, such as barbiturates, narcotics, alcohol, and antihistamines.
Finally, psychological and behavioral treatment help a Spice addict address the reasons for Spice use and adapt life skillsskills to avoid drug abuse in the future. Forms of this therapy include but are not limited to cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, group therapy, 12 step facilitation, and/or family therapy. During cognitive behavioral therapy, participants learn how they behave in stressful situations and adopt healthier behaviors. Contingency management is reinforcement therapy that provides positive or wanted outcomes for appropriate positive behaviors and formed habits. Group therapy and family therapy are facilitated by a clinical psychologist and address roles we play in social and family circles. And 12 step facilitation helps transition addicts to regular attendance of 12 step support groups.
Treatment for Spice addiction
Facing the epidemic of Spice addiction, primarily apmong teens and young adults or long-term pot smokers, includes treating possible psychosis and loss of life. Spice has the ability to cause intense cravings, and users must take more and more of it to get high cause chemical dependency. People who’ve taken Spice exhibit often extreme agitation and paranoia. So, what do you do to help a person like that?
The first thing you can do is to plan an intervention. In order to do so, you’ll need to investigate all possibilities of Spice addiction treatment in your area. Then you’ll present your concerns in a controlled environment using a script and process set up by a licensed psychologist. The bottom line is that you are ready to remove financial and emotional support from an addict unless s/he agrees to treatment. Seek the help of professional inverventionists in order to optimize chances for a successful intervention.
If you are ready to get help for yourself, your physician could be the first point of contact for addiction treatment. Not only can physicians help properly address withdrawal, but can consider your physical state and point out the downside effects of Spice abuse. Likewise, general physicians can recommend you to local resources in your area that provide specialized addiction treatment. Similarly, licensed clinical social workers offer private consultations and can help refer you to local programs that support you and your family during addiction treatment.
Second, detox clinics take medical care of patients while they experience withdrawal symptoms. Detox clinics offer 24 hour medical assistance in order to make withdrawal more comfotrable while the drug leaves the system. Spice can cause strong cravings, so medical supervision during this process may be crucial for successful treatment.
Third, Spice addiction treatment centers offer both residential and outpatient programs. These two types of treatment models are often a good starting point for anyone needing help. Addiction treatment centers include principle techniques in the treatment of substance abuse such as counseling, group work, and education on the nature of addiction. Level of supervision and care can vary, as can treatment schedules.
Drug addiction treatment can also include sessions with a clinical psychologist specializing in Spice addiction treatment or a psychiatrist. These professionals know how to interact with patients and can easily work with their unique life experiences. The goal of psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment of addiction is to address reasons why people use Spice, and teach healthy alternatives to drug abuse.
Finally, addiction support groups are non-formal institutions where peer to peer educations and personal experiences are shared in a safe comfort zone. These support groups are recommended for any former Spice abuser, in order to remind him of the consequences of Spice use.
How to treat Spice addiction
We have done our best in offering you a debrief on Spice addiction treatment. But if there is something more you would like to know, please feel free to post your questions or share your comments in the comments section below. We will do our best to provide you with a personal and prompt answer.
References Sources: National Library of Medicine: Withdrawal phenomena and dependence syndrome after the consumption of “Spice Gold”
Photo credit: Alejandra Mavroski