New research from the Children’s National Health System, reports that synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or spice, decreases the oxygen flow to the heart, which can cause some very serious heart problems. Lowered oxygen levels to the heart leads to a series of consequences, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing and even heart attacks.
This study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics and studied a small group of teenagers over the course of a two-year time span. These teenagers displayed various levels of cardiac injury, based on reported evidence of decreased oxygen supply to the heart, which may have not been recognized following their use of spice. All of the patients examined in the study were male. They all were suffering from symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and chest pain.
Study co-author, Division Chief of Cardiology and co-director of the Children’s National Heart Institute, Charles I. Berul said, “Synthetic marijuana is unacceptably readily available for purchase by children and puts them at risk of serious health issues including cardiac damage.” The rising use of this easily accessible drug has caused a large spike in emergency room visits across the country. The American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported 4,500 calls involving the use of synthetic marijuana since 2010.
Dr. Bradley Clark, a second co-author of the study, emphasized that the evidence found in the study should increase the perceived need for awareness on this matter. “While a patient may not complain of chest pain, there still may be cardiac injury. Without the typical cardiac symptoms, he may not receive the proper prompt medical evaluation,” he said.
Clark emphasized that further research is need to establish a more concrete and casual relationship between spice usage and short-term and long-term cardiovascular problems. The original chemical formula for spice has been banned, but manufactures keep altering the formula to avoid prosecution under the law. One of the ongoing problems with this drug is that manufacturers are constantly changing the formula and are under no policies of quality control. This product is constantly changing and its users are never truly aware of what they are taking.
Spice and other synthetic drug use has become a large problem in the U.S., leading many addicts to gamble with their own health. The Florida Detox Helpline is committed to helping those struggling with substance abuse find effective addiction detox treatment options. We offer free consultation to anyone who calls and is looking for help. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction and is in need of detox and addiction treatment, please do not hesitate to call us. One of our treatment specialists will assist you in finding the right addiction treatment program for you.