Journey Healing Centers Reports Sudden Spice Treatment Increase

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Along with nationwide trends demonstrating an overall increase in the number of people seeking addiction treatment for Bath Salts and Spice abuse, Journey Healing Centers (drug and alcohol treatment centers) reports a sudden increase in clients being admitted for treatment for the abuse of these destructive substances. This disturbing increase in designer drug use that can have effects similar to cocaine or meth is on top of recent media reports of hospitalizations after smoking Spice and several others allege Spice use by actress and celebrity Demi Moore (The New York Post.) While many still believe Bath Salts and Spice are safe because these designer drugs are legal, many serious side effects have been reported including paranoia, hallucinations, heart palpitations, seizures and kidney failure.

With the ongoing debate over legalization of medical marijuana, Bath Salts and Spice have become the legal alternative drugs of choice for many, especially athletes and military (Associated Press). After seeing a sudden rise in new clients for these substances, Journey Healing Centers (http://journeyrecoverycenters.com) is raising serious concerns over the health risks that can occur, especially as someone withdraws. Recently, the licensed doctors and therapists at Journey Healing Centers treated a client addicted to Spice who ended up in a psychiatric unit for paranoia and hallucinations, and now there is concern that there will be irreversible brain damage. This client may possibly live the rest of his life with this psychosis as a result of smoking Spice. The long term effects of Spice and Bath Salt use are not known at this time, but the current results show it could be devastating

Because Bath Salts and Spice are currently not picked up by drug tests, many military and athletes are turning to these designer drugs. According to the Navy Times, 64 San Diego-based sailors are currently under investigation for synthetic marijuana use. There is also rise in student athletes taking K2. Just last June, an 18-yr-old football player in Iowa, David Rozga, died while smoking Spice after his high school graduation party (ThePostgame.com.) David’s father, Mike Rozga, started K2DrugFacts.com, but it is too late to save his son. With Baseball season kicking off in April, and graduation parties in June, now is the time to talk about the health risks of Bath Salts and Spice. Education on the dangers of these alternative drugs is the best way to prevent more of these cases.

Spice is often referred to as "legal marijuana" because of the high that users experience from this plant material coated with chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Users claim to like Spice for a variety of reasons, mainly because it has cannabis-like effects. Spice highs have been described as euphoric, energizing, and mellow. The effects are short lived so people think the high will go unnoticed. Dr Ravi Chandiramani, Journey Healing Centers Medical Director, shared, “Add this to the fact that conventional drug tests do not detect its presence and you have the perfect storm for creating a new drug problem.” In Wyoming, state medical officials report an outbreak of hospitalizations due to a designer Spice called “blueberry spice” (Reuters.) Over a dozen residents have sought medical treatment for kidney failure, vomiting and back pain for smoking or ingesting a chemical-laced herbal product packaged as "blueberry spice."

In addition, the legality of these substances undermines the recovery process, as clients convince themselves that it is acceptable to smoke Spice. Jaime Vinck, Journey Healing Centers Clinical Director explained, “Sober Livings and Treatment Centers are expanding the traditional drug testing approaches in order to detect use of these dangerous substances. Parents are encouraged to become increasingly aware of the availability, danger and popularity of these drugs among teens and even tweens.” YouTube videos posted with people testing Spice and promoting benefits are also a danger, and parents need to have a conversation with teens before it’s too late. For only $25 for 3 ounces, many can buy Spice at stores or go online to sites such as Amazon.

With the sudden increase in addiction treatment for Spice, Journey Healing Centers licensed doctors and therapists are finding out that the first 48 hours after prolonged use are the most dangerous. Risk of seizure and mental instability such as paranoia and anger are the highest. Last week, the DEA extended a ban on five chemicals that make some Spice mixtures illegal. However, authorities have struggled to keep up with the chemical make-up changes for the designer drugs, making it hard to enforce these bans. Some drug testing companies are coming out with tests that can identify Spice, but it's still along way from main street testing. Dr Ravi Chandiramani, Journey Healing Centers Medical Director, added, “Scarier yet is the knowledge that we are just beginning to see the effects of these designer drugs on our young people. We also have no idea what to expect with regard to the long term effects of Spice or Bath Salts.” For a timely interview, please contact:

Liz Brown
Journey Healing Centers
310-987-7207

Background:
Journey Healing Centers operates private drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and has been featured on MTV's Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, Fox 10 Phoenix, KSL NBC Salt Lake City, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, AZ Family Phoenix, NPR.org, USAToday.com, Psychology Today, Addiction Pro and People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare, Sobriety for Life Program and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119 or visit: http://journeyrecoverycenters.com

References
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/demi_spicy_story_Jjk0DRNzRPYIZQPgsOWZYI
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/10/navy-64-sailors-busted-for-spice-use-sales-102011w
http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201103/k2-gains-popularity-among-athletes-similar-high-pot-no-positive-drug-test
http://news.yahoo.com/outbreak-kidney-failure-wyoming-linked-spice-024307988.html
http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/new-%E2%80%98spice%E2%80%99-%E2%80%98synthetic%E2%80%99-marijuana-growing-problem-members-us-military

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