You may have heard about K2, Spice, and “synthetic marijuana” recently. You should know they offer no therapeutic benefits, and are part of a drug group created when plants are sprayed with psychoactive chemicals.
Across the country there have been cases of synthetics being laced with rat poison causing sickness, uncontrollable bleeding and, in worst cases, death. In Hillsborough County we’re not isolated from this national trend – there have been two documented cases in the past few months.
While illegal in multiple places, they continuously reenter the market with altered chemical forms skirting increasingly stringent regulations.
How can you stay safe?
- The safest way is to avoid synthetic cannabinoids. Even if purchased legally, there is no way to know what is in it and how it will affect you.
- If you’ve been smoking recently make sure you continue to monitor for any bleeding and if you have any warning signs (easy bruising, nose bleeds, bleeding gums) head to your physician to get checked out. On campus you can always make an appointment at Student Health Services.
- At USF there is a medical amnesty policy, so if you or a friend is having a drug or alcohol emergency you should seek medical attention without fear of university-imposed disciplinary and/or conduct sanctions.
Bulls, with all of this information, let’s start to think twice about anything we smoke, vape, snort, and/or ingest. It seems like synthetic cannabinoids, K2, and spice are really not so nice.