Spice: The Scourge of London

What is Spice? What are the symptoms of addiction? Why is it now the scourge of London, Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo?

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Spice: The Scourge of London

In a proposed crackdown on the possession of Spice, Westminster Council in London have today called for its use to be made illegal. It was recently made illegal to make it or supply it but that appears to have done little to prevent the tsunami of addiction that is sweeping the streets of London.

If you spend just a few moments surfing news programmes from around the world on YouTube it becomes clear very quickly that this isn’t simply a Westminster problem or even a London problem. It’s not even just a national problem. It’s global. From London to Los Angeles to Tokyo. In all eventualities it appears to be the homeless and those suffering in extreme poverty who fall victim to the drug in the highest numbers.

Allen Carr’s Easyway would fully support any programme or project that looked into how to care for the victims of Spice in a kind, compassionate, and holistic manner.

We have to look at it pragmatically and gathering information is essential. It’s clear that having increasing numbers of addicts in public places reacting to taking the drug by either vomiting, passing out, suffering seizures, or becoming incredibly violent is a serious drain on the resources of the police and medical services who are left to deal with them. In order to help the poor victimes of this drug we first need to understand them.

How many of them have pre-existing mental health issues which have simply been exacerbated by Spice addiction? And how many have developed mental health issues exclusively because of Spice addiction?

Spice is many, many more times potent than heroin or crack cocaine – something that Allen Carr’s Easyway has had tremendous success treating. Our specialist London Centre has also already treated clients who have become addicted to cannabinoids such as Spice and we’d be extremely happy to assist Westminster Council in any way with their plans. But any plan does need to provide answers for how to cope with a huge number of homeless people suffering with mental health issues. Is there likely to be an answer to the problem that doesn’t involve residential treatment for the victims?

It’s essential to differentiate between the true physical withdrawal symptoms of this type of drug and the symptoms of the mental and physical damage caused by the drug – it’s easy to confuse the two. It’s the drug, rather than the withdrawal of the drug which is causing the most severe so called withdrawal symptoms.

Meanwhile – amongst the general population – we need to warn our kids away from this stuff – in the same way as we do with heroin and coke. Because drugs like Spice, also known as Mojo, Scooby Snax, Black Mamba, and Annihilation, were formerly known as ‘legal highs’ – being available perfectly legally from online and high street retailers – there remains the risk of under-estimating the potency and awful impact of these synthetic drugs. Just knowing that hardened heroin and crack cocaine addicts are switching to the drug in great numbers indicates how accessible and inexpensive these drugs are. And they appear to be many, many times more potent than heroin or crack.

Westminster Council want the police to have the power to confiscate the drug direct from the addicts and although this is well-intentioned – isn’t that likely to merely have the addicts shy away from the city’s landmarks, tourist attractions, and public places rather than get free from the drug?

Sadly the e-cigarette phenomenon is attempting to develop youth interest in “drug” use – tempting youngsters with flavours such as candy floss, gummy bear, and bubble gum. Today, vaping the liquid form of these cannabinoids is a fast-rising and extremely worrying trend.

What are the symptoms of cannabinoid addiction/use?

  • Vomiting
  • Paranoa
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Organ failure
  • Extreme violence

What is Spice?

It’s actually made from dried plant material and chopped up herbs in a mixture of colours including beige, cream, red, and brown. The active ingredients are sprayed onto the plant material.

What is the difference between Spice (also known as synthetic marijuana) & real marijuana?

Regular marijuana contains a chemical known as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

Synthetic marijuana, on the other hand, is coated with synthetic cannabinoids, made in a lab and part of a family of many hundreds of chemicals. They have names such as JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, AM-2201 UR-144, XLR-11, AKB4

Synthetic cannabinoids are produced as an oil or a crystalline powder that can easily be sprayed on plant material.

Synthetic marijuana is no relation whatsoever to real marijuana and it is likely that the incorrect comparison gives the drug a benign appeal to those who don’t know better.

Read more about ‘How to Quit Drugs’

Listen to John Dicey, Worldwide CEO, Allen Carr’s Easyway, on BBC Radio (fast forward to 01:40 after you’ve clicked through)’

#QuitDrugs #DrugAddiction #BeAddictionFree #AllenCarr

From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Therapist, Allen Carr’s Easyway

Read more about Spice in The Sun

Read more about Spice in The Standard