Recent news reports are full of stories of young teenagers being damaged forevermore by synthetic marijuana or weed. Numerous reports of psychotic episodes after teenage children smoke synthetic marijuana, show the dangers of the practice.
The real problem stems from the fact that the synthetic marijuana is readily available to many teenage children because it is sold in convenience stores and “smoke shops”. The labeling is typically shiny with an attractive name and the substance frequently has “not for human consumption” on the label, but one sold the teenagers intend to smoke the substance.
Reports indicate that almost 12,000 emergency room visits occurred in one year simply because of synthetic marijuana abuse. The age range was typically from 12 to 29 years old and the practice has grown since then. That number is undoubtedly low given the reluctance of many teenage children to tell their parents the truth about what they have done.
Synthetic marijuana resembles real marijuana and it looks like green leaves or brown leaves and twigs similar to a marijuana plant. However, the herb, in systemic marijuana has been frequently soaked in synthetic chemicals giving it an effect such as a bath salt. Hallucinations and paranoia can be typical symptoms of synthetic marijuana abuse.
Despite recent crackdowns in the Houston area, the synthetic marijuana products are still readily available for buy by young people. Despite efforts by authorities, the manufacturers appear to remain steps ahead of authorities in getting the product on the street.
Several recent raids have not only shut down some manufacturers of synthetic drugs but also retailers who sell the items. Many reports have indicated that the substances are highly addictive in many instances.
Young people under the influence of synthetic marijuana are particularly at risk and operating a motor vehicle given the effects of the synthetic drugs. Parents should be especially concerned about the safety of their children should they be considering experimenting with these dangerous drugs.
Parents should be on the lookout for children who may experiment with synthetic marijuana, bath salts or other seemingly innocent but very dangerous drugs. It is hard to explain to children the dangers of items they can buy over-the-counter in a retail establishment.