Rapidly growing in popularity, synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana is a psychoactive designer drug that is essentially a mix of innocuous herbs sprayed with a toxic chemical that, when consumed, mimics the effects of marijuana. Often branded as a “spice product,” synthetic marijuana is legally available in some states and through the Internet. Research on the neurobiology of synthetic marijuana is just now coming in. Initial findings suggest that synthetic marijuana can precipitate psychosis in some users, and may have the potential to trigger a chronic psychotic state in vulnerable individuals such as those who have a family history of thought disorders.
Spice addiction or abuse of synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana is best treated in a setting that has a strong psychiatric medicine component. Our psychiatric clinicians are well versed on the effects of synthetic marijuana and are able to manage drug-related psychosis in an appropriate setting. Our psychiatric staff works with other members of our treatment team to help patients whose thought process has been impaired by the use of this drug to regain rationality.