Spice is a popular version of ‘synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists’ or SCRAs. Other brands within this category include K2 and Black Mamba, but the market is always evolving. There are countless adaptations and variations of this certain type of drug, and the effects are largely unknown. Similar to cannabis, Spice is normally smoked. The effects, however, are understood to be far more intense. These new psychoactive drugs are created by dousing plant material with SCRAs. They mimic both the appearance and function of a cannabis plant, but as mentioned, the effects are far more severe.
Although there is an unknown element to K2 / Spice addiction, at Cornerstone, we are well equipped to deal with all types of addiction and the various consequences. Our team of Orange County based medical professionals and proven treatment programs are designed to help every individual and their unique battle with addiction. We understand every case is different. So, all of our recovery plans are shaped around that particular patient and their specific needs. We are committed to your recovery every step of the way, and implement all treatment programs with compassion, and the highest standard of care.
What Does K2 / Spice Do?
Spice is often labeled a ‘legal high.’ This is completely misleading and undermines the real threat associated with this certain drug. Spice can take full control of someone’s life; eclipsing all other commitments and responsibilities. It is an overwhelming addiction that can leave a person completely detached from reality – dissociated from their body and mind. SCRAs affect the same part of the brain as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the psychological and physical implications are far more damaging. Some of the effects include intense hallucinations, paranoia, or being induced into a ‘zombie’ like state. Chronic use means addiction is more than likely to occur and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms will follow.
These substances should not be underestimated. They can cause heart palpitations, which sometimes disrupt breathing patterns, and in some cases result in death. It is an addiction, that if left untreated, can lead to a host of life-threatening consequences. As well as affecting the body and mind, it has the potential to damage families, friendships, careers and can severely alter a person’s outlook on life. As with all addictions, the stress and implications of one substance will often open the door to another, whether it be other drugs, alcohol, or ill-behaviors.
What Causes an Addiction to Spice or K2?
At Cornerstone, we have seen plenty of addiction stories. From our experience, we understand that most are developed through a psychological process, known as ‘Positive Reinforcement.’ This is when a person becomes locked in a pattern of behavior and their actions are driven by a positive outcome; if what we do feels good, we will continue to do it.
The positive outcome, in this case, is the ‘high’, accessed by taking Spice. If that person is unable to access this feeling naturally, then it is likely they will continue to use Spice as a way of achieving it. Eventually, they will rely solely on Spice to attain this feeling. How people respond to this pattern of behavior is often the deciding factor between an addiction and one-time or occasional use. Along with positive reinforcement, research has identified a number of other factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of addiction to Spice:
- If you have a member of your immediate family who struggles with addiction, you are more susceptible to addiction yourself. This is due to a hereditary connection that links addictive behaviors.
- If you live with someone who abuses Spice, or are surrounded by negative influences, you are more likely to see this behavior as normal. You may also fail to recognize the danger associated with using Spice.
- If you have a mental health condition or dual diagnosis, you may choose Spice as a form of self-medication to alleviate symptoms caused by your mental struggle.
- A traumatic event may also trigger Spice addiction, to help manage the stress. These experiences may include bereavement, divorce or unemployment.
What are the Symptoms of Spice Addiction?
The symptoms and signs of Spice addiction can be demonstrated in a number of ways. If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from Spice addiction, then these are some indicators that we suggest you look out for:
- A strong urge to use Spice/K2
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down, or stop using Spice altogether
- The inability to focus to on anything, other than Spice; neglecting all other aspects of life
- Failure to grasp the concept of time and losing consciousness or memory of what has happened while on Spice
- Failed attempts to stop using Spice, even when it is no longer enjoyable
- Resorting to excessive methods to obtain Spice. This may include stealing, manipulation or borrowing money
- Neglecting commitments, responsibilities, personal hygiene and appearance
- Deliberately isolating themselves from friends or family; instead only spending time with people who use Spice
- A recognizable shift in character and behavior
- Performance at work affected
- Feeling guilty or ashamed about using Spice
- Feeling depressed, anxious, desperate and paranoid
- Hiding or lying about how much Spice is being taken
Self-help Tips for Dealing with Spice Addiction
Like any addiction, knowing where to start can be daunting. The first steps on the road to recovery are often the hardest, and at the start everything can seem confusing. To address this stage, here are some suggestions to support the early stages of drug addiction:
- Be transparent with the people closest to you about your dependence on Spice: how much you take and how often you take it
- Accept that your Spice use has become a serious problem, and you are no longer in control
- Make initial life changes that will help remove negative influences. This may include people, who have in the past, encouraged your Spice addiction
- Prepare to make drastic changes in order to engage fully in treatment and optimize your recovery
- Accept that change is difficult. Drug addiction requires immense dedication at every stage
Free Spice Addiction Assessment at Our OC Treatment Center
Like identifying symptoms, taking action, and doing something about your addiction is equally daunting. It is often unclear what will happen after you first accept that something is not right. Luckily, at Cornerstone of Southern California, we provide a complimentary assessment of your Spice addiction. We offer the chance to discuss your Spice use with one of our practitioners in safe and confidential circumstances. This is a great opportunity to discuss fears and questions you may have about Spice addiction – fears that often keep people locked in the cycle of addiction. In this non-judgmental evaluation, we outline the best steps for you or your loved one’s recovery. After the first assessment with one of our experienced practitioners, we offer a secondary assessment with a consultant psychiatrist. This allows us to identify any potential underlying psychiatric conditions that may interfere with your recovery. We can then design the best treatment plan for your specific needs, starting with a detox.
Spice Addiction Detox
If someone is unable to abstain from using Spice, then before any further treatment commences, a strict detoxification process must be completed. This is necessary as it is the most effective way of ensuring all Spice has left the body. During the spice/K2 detox and withdrawl period, we provide 24hour emotional support from our team of psychologists, therapists and medical professionals.
To prevent patients from succumbing to temptation, we strongly advise all detox plans take place in drug-free environments. At Cornerstone, we provide monitored and approved medication if your withdrawal symptoms are particularly severe. During detox, all consultation and treatment is non-judgmental. We pride ourselves on being honest and clear with our patients, and we encourage our patients to do the same. With honest information, we are able to place your needs at the center of your treatment plan. Every addiction is different and we believe every treatment plan should be too.
Spice Addiction Treatment Program
At Cornerstone our Spice addiction treatment program typically lasts around 28 days. During this time, patients are enrolled in an intensive plan at one of our treatment centers. We do not, however, set rigid time frames. How long you take to recover is dependent on your specific addiction and how you respond to treatment. The length of your stay is determined by your needs, commitments and condition.
Treatment at Cornerstone is implemented through a 12-step model; an adaptation of abstinence that the Alcoholics Anonymous organization (AA) first introduced. The treatment is based on empirical evidence and shaped around that patient’s circumstance. The 12-step program focuses on recovery, alongside a set of guiding values and beliefs. These are underpinned by spiritual influences, that challenge addictive and toxic behaviors while teaching humility and self-worth in the process.
Cornerstone’s drug treatment program typically consists of:
- Complimentary and optional spice addiction assessment
- An optional 7 to 10day detox with medical assistance. This consists of evaluation, stabilization, and education
- One-to-one and structured group therapy
- Couples and family therapy
- Information to seek legal support
- Licensed recovery homes for post-treatment
If for any reason you would prefer not to take part in our residential treatment program, we do offer alternative options. We provide day treatment or outpatient treatment, depending on your particular addiction story. Our drug treatment plans can be used one of two ways: as first admission points into treatment; or, for those reducing the quantity and intensity of their Spice use, assuming you have already gone through an intensive residential program. Your treatment plan will largely depend on the nature of your addiction, and the style of support you feel is most appropriate.
Our customer service team is on hand to provide emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All support is professional, non-judgmental and confidential. We provide an urgent service for those in desperate need of stabilization and detoxification. A medical professional is always on hand, and we are dedicated to helping anyone who finds themselves in crisis.