A new rash of hospitalizations has another state on the alert for this trendy but dangerous drug.
What’s a concerned parent to do? It’s so hard to keep up with all the new drugs that arrive on the scene everyday. Now a type of fake pot that has cropped up here in the US is raising new health concerns after at least three users were hospitalized for kidney failure, according to Wyoming state authorities.
Authorities are viewing the use of this drug, which goes by names like “Spice” or “K2,” as potentially life-threatening. This substance, also called herbal incense, is marketed primarily to young people and is popular for the high it creates, which is similar to that produced by marijuana. The drug is smoked in a joint-like cigarette.
The recent incident in central Wyoming that landed three patients in the hospital after smoking something called “Blueberry Spice” drew the attention of State health authorities, but it’s just the latest in a long line of issues that have been seen across the country.
While there have been no deaths reported, officials are still very concerned. The use of this synthetic or “fake” pot has been on the rise for several years now. The compound, known as JWH-018, was created in the lab of John Huffman, a professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University, who was researching how marijuana-like compounds act on brain receptors.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, which banned JWH-018 and four other synthetic cannabinoids in 2011, calls to poison control centers rose from just over 100 in 2009 to more than 2,700 nationwide in the space of a year.
At the same time, retailers plead ignorance by marketing it as incense and insisting it’s not for human consumption. Despite this, it’s assumed that most smoke shop owners know how their customers are planning to use it.
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