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Recreational Drugs: 3 New Threats to Know About

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2. Spice, or K2 continued...

Spice, also called K2, is made by spraying man-made chemicals onto leaves that can be smoked, says Moses. The chemicals cause the high. Spice is sold in gas stations and corner stores in small containers as herbal incense or potpourri.  It’s labeled “not for human consumption” to get around drug laws.

Like Molly, there are no rules over what’s sold as Spice. The five chemicals most often used in making it are controlled substances.  But what’s in one package may be different from what’s in the next, Moses says. “The active ingredient may not be the same."

“People who use Spice have reported vomiting, confusion, fast heart rate, paranoia, extreme anxiety, and hallucinations,” Sack says.

3. An Emerging Threat: Krokodil

Krokodil (pronounced crocodile) is a homemade substitute for heroin, invented in rural Russia. The chemical name for the main ingredient is desomorphine. Krokodil can turn your skin green or black and scaly, hence its name. “It’s getting a lot of attention because of its effect,” Moses says, but it’s not clear whether it has made its way into the U.S.

The drug is made from codeine mixed with household chemicals like paint thinner and gasoline, Sack says. It’s injected and can reportedly cause a high “ten times more powerful than morphine,” Sack says. 

It’s also three times as toxic, Moses says.

Bottom line: When young people choose to use these drugs, Moses says, they “are taking their lives into their hands.” 

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Reviewed on November 17, 2013

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