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Spice Dependence

Spice Dependence Is a Real Risk!

Repeated and habitual abuse of Spicesynthetic cannabis – causes significant changes in the brain. In fact, Spice dependence gets to the point where a person needs more just to keep functioning…even though a person may want to quit.

Q: So, why do people keep using despite awareness of potential harm?
A: Because withdrawal symptoms can put you through “hell” whenever you lower or stop use.


Do you feel sick when you try to stop Spice use?
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In this article, we uncover the details about the WHY’s and HOW’s of Spice dependence…so, continue reading. At the end, if you still have questions to ask, you can post them in the comments section at the end of the article. We’ll do our best to respond personally and promptly.

What Is Spice Dependence?

Dependence is a physical state and an expected outcome of habitual use of any psychoactive drug. After your body becomes adapted to the presence of the drug, it establishes a new chemical balance. In other words, the brain adapts to the presence of Spice. This is why whenever the levels of Spice chemicals from go down – due to lowered or ceased use – withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings are intense. Often, the motivation to avoid withdrawal  will drive you to take Spice again and again.

You see, Spice has the ability to bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain asTHC. Although the cannabinoid compounds found in Spice act on the same brain receptors as THC, they bind with them more strongly. This can lead to more potent and unexpected effects. It can also lead to high levels of chemical dependence.

This means that Spice dependence can develop at a much faster rate. Just how fast? Scientist aren’t exactly sure yet. There are various blends and a wide range of Spice products, which are relatively new to science. Plus, the quantity of each ingredient within a batch can vary significantly.

Does Spice Dependence = Addiction?


We often see these two terms, addiction and dependence, being used as if they were the same condition. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there is a distinction between dependence and addiction. And, clear terminology is necessary for effective communication regarding these medical issues.

DEPENDENCE, according to the medical definition, is a normal physiologic adaptation of the body to the presence of Spice. It is a state of adaptation that is manifested by the development of tolerance, and a withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation or rapid dose reduction. Even though you can be dependent on Spice without being addicted…it doesn’t mean that dependence to a drug like this is less harmful or dangerous. Many times, a person dependent on Spice is just a few steps away from developing addiction and facing other serous physical and mental health issues.

ADDICTION, on the other hand, is a chronic, neurobiological disease. It is characterized by intense compulsion for obtaining an using, inability to control or stop use, an emotional attachment to Spice use, and continued use despite awareness of harm. Unlike dependence, addiction cannot be resolved by management of Spice withdrawal symptoms, but requires a prolonged and more structured treatment approach.

Are You Dependent On Spice?

When someone is dependent on Spice, they will likely display the two main symptoms of dependence: tolerance and withdrawal.

Symptom #1 Tolerance = Tolerance is a state of adaptation. You usually develop tolerance after regular and chronic exposure to Spice. Over time, regular use induces changes in the brain that diminish the potency of one or more of the drug´s sought-after effects. This means you may feel a need to smoke more Spice or you may smoke Spice more often in order to get high, because your old doses are not effective enough.

Symptom #2 Withdrawal = When the effects of Spice start to wear off, the body reacts by sending signals to the brain, resulting in withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms can be displayed differently in each individual and vary in potency and duration (from 2 days up to 2 weeks), depending on use patterns. Spice withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Nightmares
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors

In some cases, withdrawal symptoms may include hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and actions, seizures, reduced blood supply to the heart, high blood pressure and even heart attacks have been reported during Spice withdrawal. This is why seeking medical help when going off Spice is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


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Spice Dependence Signs

Besides the increasing tolerance and occurrence of withdrawal symptoms, the following criteria may also be present in individuals dependent on Spice:

  • Continuous consumption in order to prevent withdrawal pain.
  • Dose increase.
  • Heightened frequency of use.
  • Mixing Spice with other drugs (prescription or illicit) and alcohol to intensify effects.
  • Strong desire for Spice use just to be able to function normally.

If you recognize yourself or a loved one in these scenarios that indicate physical dependence…don’t worry! Spice addiction can be treated safely and effectively under the professional care and watchful eye of medical staff.

How To End Spice Dependence

You are not alone in fighting this battle! Spice use and dependence affects thousands of lives worldwide. And, while ending Spice dependence can be uncomfortable at first, it does get better with time. If you are looking for advise on how to start and fully quit Spice, read the info we’ve provided below.

STEP #1. Before attempting anything on your own, it’s wise to talk to a doctor, general physician or another healthcare professional. Each person’s body is different and reacts differently to Spice cessation, so it’s smart to seek medical help for your unique situation.

STEP #2. It’s also possible to safely detox at home, but only after you’ve been examined and get your doctor’s clearance. If detoxing at home, you can ask your doctor to suggest over-the-counter aids that may help you lower the intensity of specific withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors usually prescribe medications to treat the common Spice withdrawal symptoms. These medications can include:

  • Medications for diarrhea (loperamide).
  • Medications to treat headaches and muscle cramps (acetaminophen).
  • Medications for treating nausea and vomiting (metoclopramide).
  • Medications for gastrointestinal distress and stomach cramps (Buscopan).
  • Sleep aids for insomnia (promethazine).

STEP #3. Spice users who have been using the drug for a longer period of time, can benefit from Spice detox at a clinic. Formal medical detox programs offer 24 hours monitoring of your health state. Also, a professional medical team takes care of any unexpected problems or complications and treats withdrawal symptoms as they occur. The drug-free, stress-free, and pleasant environment can be beneficial for a more comfortable start of your recovery process.

Have Questions To Ask?

Do you or someone you know use the drug Spice (also called synthetic marijuana, synthetic weed, herbal incense, K2, fake weed, synthetic pot, synth and fweed)? Although it’s uncomfortable to quit it, there is hope to end the circle of dependence.

If you have any further questions and comments, please post them in the comments section below. We try to answer to each one personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Withdrawal Phenomena and Dependence Syndrome After the Consumption of “Spice Gold”
NIH: DrugFacts: Spice (“Synthetic Marijuana”)
NIH: K2/Spice (“Synthetic Marijuana”)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: Understanding the ‘Spice’ phenomenon

Spice Dependence

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Spice long term effects

June 5th, 2017

Spice is a relatively new drug and there is still only a little that we know about the effects of long term use. Even with such limited scientific knowledge, we can say that Spice is a substance with gruesome consequences. More, here.

Tolerance to Spice

Tolerance to Spice

June 21st, 2013

Tolerance to Spice manifests as the need to smoke more Spice to get high. What are some other signs of Spice tolerance? We explore here.

4 Dependence on Spice

Dependence on Spice

April 24th, 2013

Dependence on Spice is characterised by withdrawal symptoms when you cut back. More physical and psychological symptoms of Spice dependence here.

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