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Spice addiction forms instantly

27.02.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin

Smoking blend, or spice, is a mix of dried grass particles covered with synthetic cannabinoids by spraying. It is marketed as a healthy alternative to marijuana, but it is definitely not. Chemicals in spice pose a great danger to human health.

According to NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse for Teens), people who smoke spice show the following symptoms:

  • fast heart rate;
  • extreme anxiety or nervousness;
  • feeling confused;
  • hallucinations;
  • rise of blood pressure;
  • disruption of circulatory dynamics;
  • paranoia;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • vomiting;
  • aggressive behavior..

In a few cases, smoking spices has been linked with heart attacks and death.


  1. Truth about addiction
  2. Physical and psychological addiction
  3. Am I addicted to spice?
  4. Total number of users
  5. Denial is normal

Truth about addiction

According to NIDA, an addiction is a state in which a person takes a drug for the sake of feeling fine rather than feeling pleasure. An addiction forms when a person continues to take drugs regardless of their negative effect.

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So when does a person cross this line?

Even the first intake of spice can form an addiction. Most users enjoy the drug intoxication they get after the first use, and the next intake of spice is an attempt to achieve the same state of high.

However, as a person continues to use a drug, their body adapts to the chemicals in synthetic blends and marijuana. This is how a drug addiction forms. Once a person is addicted to spice, they will experience withdrawal syndrom any time they try to reduce the dose or quit.

After some time they will need to smoke more and more in order to reach the state of intoxication. This is called “tolerance”, or adaptation. A person who adapted to drug needs higher amounts of spice to reach the desired effect. They start to smoke more, while their body adapts to higher amounts of drug. This cycle results in a compulsive behavior:

  • smoke spice,
  • feel good
  • rinse and repeat.

Physical and psychological addiction

There is a significant difference between a psychological and physical addictions.

A psychological addiction forms when a person feels a compulsive urge to take drugs regardless of their harmful effects. People with such addiction cannot simply quit them, regardless of their problems with health, work or studies. or relationship with friends and relatives.

Physical addiction can enhance psychological one. If a chemical is at all time present in the system, a body starts to adapt to the drug. Once the use of it stops, a person experience abstinence.

Am I addicted to spice?

We cannot always notice the signs and symptoms of addiction. In order to find out if you are addicted to spice, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever failed in quitting spice?
  • Do you have an irresistible urge to smoke spice?
  • Do you slack on your main responsibilities because of spice?
  • Do you continue to take spice regardless of your problems with friends, family and other people?
  • Do you display any aggressive and provoking behavior due to spice use?
  • Has the use of spice affected the activities you used to enjoy?
  • Do you often think about buying or consuming spice?

If you have answered “yes” to at least one of the questions above, we recommend you to consult a specialist. You are likely to have an addiction, and you need specialized help..

Total number of users

There is one fact that can upset somehow: there are a lot of people with spice addiction. Synthetic marijuana is a relatively new drug, but there are already statistics on its use provided by US government and medical facilities.

  • In 2010, 11,406 people were hospitalized due to spice abuse. 77.5% of them were men, 22.5% were women. 75% of people were between 12 and 29 years old.
  • In 2016, a research “Monitoring the future” showed that in a previous year 3.7% of high school students smoked spice at least once.

Based on these statistics, NIDA concluded that spice is the most popular drug among young people, second after marijuana on black market. Most of those who smoke spice are young men.

Denial is normal

People who try to get over their addiction to smoking blends often deny having a problem in order to feel better about themselves and shy away from changes. This is a normal protective response. In reality, however, denial shows inability to face the truth. Accepting your addiction is a hard step to take.

How can we help our loved ones overcome denial?

First you need to figure out the nature of this denial and its roots. Addicts are often deeply ashamed of themselves. [1] Neither young people nor adults are willing to accept that they couldn’t command themselves. Moreover, many of those who have an addiction simply wish for a better life and become extremely upset when the reality doesn’t match their desired image. That is why many people resort to denial in order to justify their behavior.

When you try to support a person who has an addiction to smoking blends, the first thing you should do is express your support. Even if you cannot force your way through denial, this will still show that you care for and understand your beloved friend. Here are some ways to help a person to notice their denial:

  • do not start this conversation while they are intoxicated with spice;
  • raise specific examples they know of, in order to stimulate their memory;
  • speak about the parts of their life that are the most affected by their drug abuse, like career or responsibilities (and which can also affect other people);
  • always keep in touch in order to answer any questions and help them solve any problems

There is also a possibility that their addiction is accompanied by other psychological problems, like anxiety or depression. This is especially true for spice addicts, considering that synthetic cannabinoids have a lot of psychoactive effects which disrupt thought and emotional processes. Therefore, you need to be especially careful if their addiction is paired with denial. Imagine walking on a thin ice, where any wrong move can push the addict back into the drug abyss.

Do not be surprised that your friend or relative continues to deny their addiction. This is a common sight for people with uncontrolled drug abuse. Patience is the key to solving this problem.

Even though spices are considered to be recreational drugs, they are drugs nonetheless and become addictive after first use. First you need to help your loved one realize the problem and overcome their denial. Only then you should look for an effective treatment. For example, our  7Spsy technique lets our patients change their behavior patterns and start to enjoy life again without spice.

We will help you get to rid of an addiction

Make for consultation WATCH VIDEO

Read more on supporting your loved ones in treating spice addiction here: “Helping your friend overcome addiction to spice and smoking blends.”.  


  1. Flanagan O. The shame of addiction. Front Psychiatry. 2013;4:120. Published 2013 Oct 8. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00120