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Old 02-08-2011, 02:00 PM  
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Dangers of "Synthetic" Drugs used by Teens

I do psychiatric assessments in the Emergency Rooms and I have seen an increase of patients, mostly teenagers, who have tried to get high from substances commonly referred as "synthetic cocaine," "K2," "Serenity," "Wet" and "Fry". Unfortunately the side effects can be very dangerous.

I am not an expert on the substances, but I think it is important to post what I do know.

"Synthetic cocaine" is a bath salt that is usually sold in smoke shops and apparently, the high is similar to amphetamines, or cocaine.

"Serenity" or "K2" is incense that is sold over the counter at most convenience stores and the high is supposed to mimic "pot", or marijuana.

Apparently, both substances are a cheap, legal means to get high.

I think that "Wet" and "Fry" refer to smoking pot dipped in embalming fluid (formaldhyde) and laced with angel dust (PCP), respectively. Don't ask me how one gains access to embalming fluid, because I have no clue. I guess teenagers can be very resourceful.

Unfortunately, the side effects for these drugs are visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoia, agitation and sometimes violence. The combined side effects can be extremely dangerous. The hallucinations seem very real and frightening.

One online poster blogged that he thought gangsters were trying to break into his house, so he called 911. Another person went to the extremes of putting his fist through a window to gain entry into his neighbors house, in an attempt to flee from the "intruders." The tell tale sign of someone who has smoked "wet" is that they take off all their clothes, and tend to run and yell. I've heard many stories from EMS who say they picked up someone naked running down the street yelling as loudly as possible.

If your teen or loved one ends up in the ER, the entire process can be a very long, scary and stressful journey that most often leads to a psychiatric hospital.

Most ER staff are not equipped to diagnose this type of drug use. Traditional urine drug screens do not detect these substances. Therefore, patients who come to the ER with hallucinations, paranoia and agitation are diagnosed as psychotic, and a psychiatric specialist is called to assess the patient. Sometimes, the agitated patients become violent, and have to be restrained and calmed with medication.

Most of the time, the doctors instruct the psychiatric specialist to transfer the patient to a psychiatric hospital, that specializes in managing psychotic patients. Violent patients in the ER pose a risk to themselves, ER staff, and other patients. Treatment primarily consists of administering psychotropic medication to treat the psychosis and keep the patient in a secure, locked environment. Patients experiencing psychosis from drug use are unpredictable and at risk for impulsive acts that can cause injury. Sometimes the psychosis lasts one or two days, but can last as long as couple of weeks for "wet."

Unfortunately, I do not know the extent of permanent damage caused to the brain or central nervous system. I am unsure if much research has been conducted and I think the only definitive test is a very expensive PET Scan of the brain.

Parents, the best preventative method is to talk to your children, observe for any change in behaviors, and seek advice from friends and experts.

Houston has many agencies that specialize in mental health, such as:
Mental Health America Mental Health America of Greater Houston
Council on Alcohol and Drugs The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston

Or, a quick an easy thing to do is call the United Way "2-1-1" for information and referral.

I hope this helps provide insight to some of the drugs that teens and young adults are currently using.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:49 PM  
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Thank you for writing this. There is legislation now to ban these bath salts because it is becoming an epidemic here in California.

I also moved this thread to the appropriate site so more people will be aware of the dangers!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:54 PM  
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The military has jumped ahead of the game and is kicking people out for even having contact with these drugs (Spice and bath salts.)

Good article!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:27 PM  
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thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by havasu View Post
Thank you for writing this. There is legislation now to ban these bath salts because it is becoming an epidemic here in California.

I also moved this thread to the appropriate site so more people will be aware of the dangers!
Thanks for posting to appropriate site. I am still new, so I appreciate the help.


I am constantly amazed by the bizarre ways kids and young adults will try to get high. Although legislation to ban the substances will help battle the epidemic, I think we adult mentors and parents will be the most effective weapon.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:56 PM  
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Unfortunately, there's a lot of adults trying to legalize "getting high" drugs, so I think we're kind of falling away from that.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:51 PM  
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Our district attorny was telling me the other day about something new that kids are doing, it's called shake and bake. Apparently it is getting more popular with the meth crowd since you can make it while going down the road, skim off the goody and toss the bottle out the window. He warned me to never pick up a plastic or glass bottle that has fluid in it and capped since the residue of the mixed drug is very harmful to anyone that might happen to jar the cap off.
I was floored when he told me about this....guess I've had my head in the sand too long. I teach at a vocational school but I never overheard any of the students talking about this process.
Bottom line, beware of bottles laying along a path or road with fluid in it and if you must dispose of it be sure to wear rubber gloves and get rid of it asap.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:20 PM  
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Thanks for writing this. This is becoming a huge problem. I can only speak about my own experience. My son is 20 years old and smoked Spice (a synthetic marijuana similar to K2). he was taken by ambulance from college to the ER where the doctor diagnosed him with schizophrenia. I tried to tell him about the spice, but he wasnt interested. He was transferred to an mental hospital in the morning and the doctor released him within 2 hours after giving him so much atavan that he had to be carried to the car. He also told diagnosed him with schizophrenia. I finally found a good hospital who was aware of the marijuana/spice/K2 and treated him accordingly. He was diagnosed with drug induced psychosis and given meds to clear him. His recovery period is expected to be 6 months in total. It has been a complete nightmare for him and our family. Although he is out of the hospital after spending 24 days there, he still has bad days. Parents, do everything you can to make sure you are educated and that your kids know about this too.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:26 PM  
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Christy, I'm glad to hear it sounds as if your son is on the road to recovery. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:07 PM  
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He sure is, thanks!
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:49 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christy View Post
Thanks for writing this. This is becoming a huge problem. I can only speak about my own experience. My son is 20 years old and smoked Spice (a synthetic marijuana similar to K2). he was taken by ambulance from college to the ER where the doctor diagnosed him with schizophrenia. I tried to tell him about the spice, but he wasnt interested. He was transferred to an mental hospital in the morning and the doctor released him within 2 hours after giving him so much atavan that he had to be carried to the car. He also told diagnosed him with schizophrenia. I finally found a good hospital who was aware of the marijuana/spice/K2 and treated him accordingly. He was diagnosed with drug induced psychosis and given meds to clear him. His recovery period is expected to be 6 months in total. It has been a complete nightmare for him and our family. Although he is out of the hospital after spending 24 days there, he still has bad days. Parents, do everything you can to make sure you are educated and that your kids know about this too.
I'm glad he's getting there.

I'm sorry to hear the medical community did not listen, it seems to be a common complaint.
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