Posted: Mar 22, 2013 2:43 PM by Jessica Holley - email@example.com
Updated: Mar 22, 2013 6:46 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - For the last several years states have attempted to regulate synthetic marijuana. But a local rehabilitation facility is reporting a huge increase in patients now being treated for this lab manufactured drug. They are warning parents that the side effects from these drugs can be life-threatening.
It's known under many names, K2, Spice, Ultra Chronic, or Blueberry Haze to name a few, but it's all synthetic marijuana and it's all illegal.
"It's actually a chemical that you can put in to a solution and then sprayed on to an organic material that you can burn and smoke," Dr. Joy Alonzo, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Texas A&M Health Science Center.
Bayview Behavioral Hospital says in 2011 saw 12 times more synthetic marijuana cases than the previous year, and it's because this lab created drug was once only regulated by outlawing a specific molecule. Manufacturers got around that by making a minor change to the molecule, keeping the drug on the shelf.
"Now by executive order, President Obama in July of 2012 stated that all synthetic cannabinoids all synthetic marijuana chemicals are illegal. But it is very difficult to prove and prosecute from that legislation," says Dr. Alonzo.
One reason it's difficult to prove is because the compounds in the drug are so new, they don't show up in a typical urine drug test. Dr. Alonzo says one in nine high school student has reported trying this drug and a majority of it's users are males ages 12 to 29.
Side effects from the drug include:
"Some times based on the person and the exposure to the chemical we've had cases unfortunately where the seizures were permanent, they are going to have a permanent seizure disorder and permanent psychosis," says Dr. Alonzo.
"If you see your family member exerting those symptoms send them to somebody. You can send them to us, to the ER, where ever just get them some help," says Jose Ramirez a Bayview Behavioral Hospital therapist.
But with the every changing "fake weed" medical professionals are trying to stay ahead of the changes to better educate and treat patients.
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