I remember the feeling I would get about 14 years ago, as an emergency room charge nurse in Indianapolis when I answered a call from a paramedic letting us know that they were on their way in with a patient who had overdosed.
Even though it was always a toss up of what we would be dealing with, we pretty much knew the main drugs that were used at that time.
These patients were usually pretty vulgar, rude, and unpredictable.
Some would become uncontrollable or unable to breathe on their own requiring intubation (a tube placed in their throat) and ventilation.
Nowadays, I can’t imagine dealing with these patients.
There are so many different drugs and concoctions out there that have such unpredictable effects.
The people ingesting these drugs don’t even know what they were facing. It’s like a game of Russian roulette.
Today, the news reported a “strong batch” of K2 was making its way around the city.
Multiple ambulances had been called for reports of unresponsive users.
What exactly is K2? And, what do we as moms need to know about it?
I decided I needed to research it because that's just what I do!
Here is what I found out:
More than 1 out of 10 high school seniors have used K2 in the past year!
Do I have your attention?
- K2 is part of a group of drugs called NPS (new psychoactive substances)
- Man-made chemical called cannabinoids related to marijuana
- K2 is sprayed onto a shredded plant that looks like marijuana.
- Strong clove smell
- Difficult to detect substances in drug tests
HOW IT'S USED:
- Sold to be smoked, brewed as tea, or used as a liquid to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigs (yes, the e-cigs that you see many high school students plastering their pictures with on social media)
- Coffee grinders are used to prepare it to smoke
- Pipes or Screens
- Known as “synthetic marijuana.”
- Also known as K2, Spice, Joker, Black Mamba, Kush, Kronic, Ivory Wave, White Lightning, Blaze, Smoke, Incense, Potpourri, Plant Food, Nitro, Red Wave, Bombay Blue, Genie
- Very quick onset and lasts 1-8 hours
- Users report: elevated mood, relaxation, altered perception, symptoms of psychosis, extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, high blood pressure, reduced blood supply to the heart, kidney damage, seizures, death
Addictive with withdrawal symptoms: headaches, anxiety, depression, irritability
- Effects can be more severe than marijuana
- A loss of physical control: seizures, lack of pain response, uncontrolled/spastic body movements
HOW IT'S SOLD:
- Often marked as “safe” and/or “natural”
- Sold amongst other e-cig and incense products
- Illegal to sell or buy but manufacturers change the formulas making them hard to track
This isn't just a problem you will see on the Dr. Phil show. It's in our schools and communities.
And for us today, in Evansville Indiana, we can't deny it's reality.
We would be fools to think it's not going to affect us somehow.
Know the facts and face the fact that it's up to us to educate ourselves and protect our children.
SOURCES: National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services drugfree.org in.gov: Office of the Indiana Attorney General TimeToTalk.org Partnership at drugfree.org HELPLINE 1-855-DRUGFREE