What is Spice?

in Addiction
Published Mar 25, 2021
what is spice

Spice is a mix of herbs and plant materials that are combined with strong chemicals that affect the brain. While it is sometimes incorrectly referred to as synthetic marijuana, its effects are much stronger and its potential side effects can be highly dangerous. There are no known health benefits for this drug and because the risks of using it are so high, Spice is illegal. This drug can be highly addictive and can even lead to death.

How is Spice Used?

Spice can come in various forms. It is typically rolled up into papers and smoked, similarly to how someone would use marijuana. Some users may make it into a tea that is consumed orally. Others will use it in liquid form in a device like an electronic cigarette. Spice is commonly used by teens.

How does Spice affect the brain?

The chemical make-up of Spice changes frequently, therefore researchers are still gathering information about how it affects a user’s brain. The way the brain responds to this drug is similar to the way it responds to marijuana. However, because the chemicals in Spice are stronger than that of marijuana the response is far greater. The drug attaches to a nerve cell receptor creating a euphoric or relaxed sensation. Some people may experience a state of psychosis or a type of altered reality. Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this drug is that there are chemicals within it that researchers haven’t been able to identify because they change frequently. As a result, some possible effects are unknown.

How does Spice affect the body?

Some people will experience negative reactions when using Spice. They may experience vomiting, anxiety, confusion, an elevated heart rate, and even hallucinations or hearing things that are not there. In some severe cases, an individual may experience thoughts of suicide or will act out violently against other people. The worst case scenario of using Spice is possible overdose or death.

It is important to know what the symptoms of possible overdose are so that they can be recognized before it is too late. They could include but are not limited to:


Anyone experiencing these symptoms after using a substance like Spice should seek medical attention immediately. Since the contents of the drug change so often, the long-term side effects of using Spice are unknown.

How Addictive is Spice?

Spice is highly addictive. When a person continues to use it over time, they will begin to build up a tolerance to it. At this point, they will be dependent upon the drug. They will need more and more of it in order to get the desired effects of it. Once they are at this stage, they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t get the drug. These withdrawal symptoms could be life-threatening.

Withdrawal symptoms typically include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Coughing
  • Seizures


However, some withdrawal symptoms could be more severe.

What do I do if a loved one is using Spice?

Some individuals that use Spice may be wrongly convinced that it is marijuana and are unaware of the potentially dangerous side effects the drug can have. This is why proper education is highly important. If one of your loved ones is using Spice it is important to have a candid conversation with them about the risks they are taking. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association has a free hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). This hotline is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They can provide many helpful resources that you can pass along to a friend with a substance use problem.

How do I stop using Spice?

If you are addicted to Spice and want to get clean, the first step is detoxification. While an at-home detox may sound more convenient, it is not the safest route. Because of the possible life-threatening side effects of detoxing, it is best to do it in an in-patient care facility where you are under 24/7 medical supervision.

At Gallus Medical Detox Center, we utilize the Gallus Method of detox. We believe this is not only the safest form of detoxing but also the most effective. Because we know that every person’s substance use situation is different, each patient that enters our facility will get an individualized treatment plan. They will then receive IV Therapy during which time medication will be transmitted intravenously so that it can go to work at treating the withdrawal symptoms as quickly as possible. Patients will also be hydrated intravenously and will receive any vitamins they may be deficient in due to their use of Spice. After the detoxing process is complete, they will receive a recovery plan and an Aftercare Planning Guide that will assist them with maintaining a successful recovery.

Spice is a highly addictive, highly dangerous drug that is threatening the lives of many. The full effects of Spice on the body and mind are not yet known since it continues to evolve. It can cause a variety of dangerous health complications and in severe cases can lead to overdose and even death. If you are using Spice and want to get clean, the first step is detoxing from this drug. This is best to do in an in-patient facility under proper medical supervision so that withdrawal symptoms can be properly monitored. At Gallus Medical Detox Center, we can ensure that your detox process is as comfortable as possible. We will provide you with every resource necessary to ensure a successful recovery. While life without substance use may seem impossible right now, you can recover. Take the first step towards a happier and healthier life today by calling us today at (866) 296-5242.