Synthetic Marijuana : While Others Can’t See, Let’s Level Up the Alarms…


Preamble

While the country’s Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth and Health Minister, Anil Gayan, keep publicly denying realistic relationships between synthetic drugs overdose with some cases of suspicious youth death, We, simple commoners know for sure, that synthetic marijuana is linked to psychosis, brain, and kidney damage.

As of today and for years now, there is no week in our local papers, without death or crime news linked, in some ways, with synthetic Marijuana. There is solid evidence, like those given by local Drug-War Hero Ally Lazer, about our small islander’s social fabric being plagued by death providing high profile dealers. But the local War on Drugs seems to irrelevantly focus on users rather than on those who order-to-make, sell and distribute the deadly cocktails. And Yes ! Synthetic Marijuana doesn’t have to bother about customs and borders. It is cooked here, in our suburbs. The authorities are missing out the real flags!

Reports have been out in the US ever since 2012, denouncing the perverse effects of synthetic marijuana on health and on social at large. Today, it is clear that loopholes in the progressive THC liberalization laws have unleashed an unprecedented tsunami in terms of chemical drug intake among youth, since LSD in the 70s, Crack in the 80s and Crystals in the 90s. The US government has now understood the vital necessity to make the difference between natural and synthetic marijuana, along with the absolute priority of changing the War on Drugs approach. In Mauritius, the authorities clearly didn’t understand a thing, even though, it seems, that several officials publicly admitted to be top Googling researchers.

Just as Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim rightly stated and paraphrased (as understood) thereafter :

There can’t be any sort of drug liberalization, without fundamental reframing of our legal dispositions and the rethinking of our institutions.

But let’s face it! It is not the job of civil society to do this, but that of the 70 or so parliamentarians we elect to legislate and rule on our behalf, every damned 5 years. And from my point of view, it looks more like they are not prioritizing the real social challenges and threat that synthetic drugs represent.

What should be learned about Synthetic Marijuana ?

First of all, we need to get the full picture of its health-threatening effects and;

  • Provide the people at large, young and old, with the most exhaustive list of social hazards that are being proved to be linked with synthetic marijuana.

  • Communicate the findings to the largest arrays, in fora, schools, community and town halls, in clinics and on the media, irrespective and rudely defiant of the actual official stands. The real truth needs to be told, the difference between real Marijuana and Synthetic THC be made and demonstrated… Everywhere, every when and anyhow.

I’ll show the way… I’ll do the first step, with the following list of risks, threats and effects of synthetic marijuana, not only on individuals but also on our social fabric. Read it, share it, talk about it, in and out your circles… Should you need people to come talk about it, let me know and we’ll get the right persons to do it in schools, community centers, town/village halls. Just let us know if you want to fight the Synth plague. Here we go !

Synthetic Marijuana :

Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Even if we commonly know how it is fabricated, with hundreds of chemical components, very little is still known about the mechanics of synthetic Marijuana, due to its complicated nature, In 2016 there is still much research to be done to get a full and comprehensive insight of Synthetic Marijuana real physical, psychological and social fallouts.

Reasons of intake

Several hypotheses have been set to respond to this fundamental question. However, to date, no certainty persist, even if we identified the many triggering factors that exist behind the decision of synthetic drug intake.

  • Hectic/ Chaotic lives, Exposure to crime and violence
    People who live in disorganised, rushing manner, whatever their social ranking, have the need to find artificial havens.

  • Parental deficit
    Basic family context is crucial to both intake or refusal of synthetic drugs. However the lack of parental involvement is very often key in the decision of synth intake

  • Family history of drug use and addiction
    This is a highly determining factor.

  • Being of younger age, Exposure to drug use
    Peer pressure is one of the most recurrent factor.

  • Family history and/ or Personal history of mental illness
    Mental illness often implies prescribed synthetic drug intake. Severe addiction very often, becomes an alarming side effect.

Signs, Symptoms and Effects

The list is frighteningly exhaustive. However they are relevant alarms that help at identifying individuals on-the-verge of, or already into addiction.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Sudden, extreme stints of hyperactivity

  • Sudden, extreme stints of lethargy

  • Sudden, unprovoked, and extreme angry outbursts

  • Physical aggression

Physical symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations

  • Chest pains

  • Muscle spasms

  • Reduced or elevated blood pressure

  • Headaches

  • Panic attacks

  • Nausea

  • Feeling unusually sleepy

  • Seizures

  • Cognitive symptoms:

  • Paranoia

  • Confusion

  • Disorientation

  • Hallucinations

  • Delusion

  • Altered perceptions

  • Depersonalization

  • Psycho-social symptoms:

  • Elevated moods

  • Extreme anxiety

  • Extreme depressive episodes

  • Psychosis

Effects of Synthetic Marijuana Use

No one can be entirely sure of the exact long-term social side effects and health risks linked to Synthetic Marijuana use. But it is widely recognized that it can have the most sudden and unpredictable devastating effect and lead to untimely fatality. It includes:

  • Family conflict

  • Destruction of interpersonal relationships

  • Inability to hold down a job or be successful at school

  • Irreversible cognitive impairment

  • Heart attack

  • Psychosis

  • Self-harm

  • Stroke

  • Seizure

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

  • Death

Disorder Co-occurence

In many cases, individuals who are into drugs like synthetic marijuana tend to develop symptoms of mental health disorder. Some of the mental illnesses are known to be linked with prolonged usage of synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana, that can induce :

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Depressive disorders

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Oppositional defiant disorder

  • Conduct disorder

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Unlike for natural marijuana, synthetic marijuana withdrawal is more complicated and often carry additional acute side-effects.

Once dependent on synthetic marijuana, a subject who stops will most likely experience withdrawal patterns that are close to those felt during a hard drug desintox. This period has been said to last for up to three days and includes the following effects:

  • Hot flashes / cold flashes

  • Addition flu-like symptoms

  • Excessive anxiety

  • Excessive lethargy

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Feelings of hunger, but experiencing an inability to keep food down

  • Violent temper tantrums

  • Isolation

  • Cravings

Overdose

Reports of synthetic marijuana overdoses are becoming a recurrent event. Like in any type of case, overdosing should be viewed as a medical emergency and be most urgently treated as a life-threatening situation. The symptoms that may indicate that someone has overdosed on synthetic Marijuana may include:

  • Hallucinations

  • Delusions

  • Stroke

  • Depersonalization

  • Derealization

  • Disorientation

  • Seizures

  • Heart attack

  • Coma

That may lead to death, generally and often resulting from pulmonary edema.

Tailbit

Knowing all this makes us aware of the severity of the threat from synthetic marijuana and other chemical drugs abuse at large. We should not wait for some politician to act on this, when they still keep denying the facts that our youth is under attack. We have to play our part as responsible informants and citizens. We should keep on the pressure on our politicians and keep fighting upon the rehabilitation of natural cannabis recreationnal usage, as it stands as a reliable barrier to low-cost synthetic Marijuana. That’s the only way to stop this fatal mess…

And don’t forget : Share it, Talk about it invite us to talk about it in and out your networks… It’s our last chance we have to listen and act. Later will just be too late.

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