Up until the age of 21, I had done nothing other than occasionally having a beer or a couple of glasses of wine (maybe once every six months).
I had smoked a total of three cigarettes in my entire life. Upon turning 21, I became friends with a few people who were able to use marijuana recreationally and responsibly.
I tried it a few times, and enjoyed it, but didn’t feel any addiction.
After some time had passed, I was interested in trying to find someone who could help me out.
Being in a small community of a conservative area in the Deep South, where marijuana possession is considered a felony and can ruin your life, it is hard to get anything regularly, if at all.
Out of curiosity (and need to get a job that would require drug testing), I did a few Google searches and wandered upon a site selling Spice.
This particular site sold homemade blends, purportedly made in the U.S.A., with cute flavors, like Cotton Candy and Blueberry.
The site also assured me that everything was lab tested, certified, and completely legal. At the time, it was.
So I ordered, and a few days later, I got my little manila envelope in the mail with my packs of “potpourri.”
I rolled myself a joint and proceeded to test it out.
This was the time when the core chemical compounds were still legal, so it was a lot less potent than the types I would end up being addicted to later on.
I felt different than during my past experiences with THC, but all-in-all, it helped relieve stress and calm me down after working three part-time jobs at the time.
After a few more joints, I was feeling less affected by the amounts, so I began smoking a little more.
I would find myself racing home in between shifts to smoke a little and make it through until my lunch break or next job. Each job was around three hours a day, 5-6 days a week, so I was able to fit my new “hobby” in around each shift.
After smoking with a friend at one point who had never tried it, they got extremely sick and vomited everywhere.
They (I will use “they” instead of their gender) then proceeded to shake violently, and I could not revive my friend for a good 30 minutes.
I was also messed up, so I didn’t know what to do.
I’ve read up on it now, and it seems that we hit a “hot spot” where the concentration of chemicals was much greater than in the average amounts.
This friend never smoked again, and the one time they tried to smoke regular marijuana, they had a violent flashback to the Spice incident.
By the end of that year, I had moved, gotten my dream job, and found a new regular weed connection, but I occasionally went back to Spice.
It took a while for the THC to have any real effect on me after my Spice habit, but at this point, I was able to rebound without too many issues.
At one point, I hit an unusually dry spot where no one seemed to have any real marijuana. I then made the worst decision of my life – I started smoking a new kind of Spice. K2.
The first time I tried it, it felt like I had taken LSD, meth, and mushrooms all at one time.
It was terrible.
Everything changed colors, and I felt like I was dying.
And then, I started coming down. And immediately, I wanted more. Within the week, I started smoking daily.
I lived within a mile of a smoke shop that carried K2 before the state started cracking down on synthetic drugs.
I made a trip at least once a day.
I started with a small bag. Then quickly moved to a few small bags.
And then, they made big packages.
Within the month, I was dealing with a full-blown addiction, smoking at least two large bags a day.
Even the guy who sold it to me told me it was bad for me.
I had a good-paying, respectable job, and I would not be able to get through a meeting without sweating.
I had to run down to my car or out during lunch to smoke at least five times during the work day.
I started suffering from serious mood swings and began drinking every single night after work to help with the issues of withdrawal.
Before long, my partner left me, and after that, I went downhill.
If I had to guess, I would say I was spending up to $120 a day on this drug.
I had never experienced anything like it.
I felt like I was addicted to crack.
When I was out, and the smoke shop was closed, I would pick through old packages and try to find trace amounts in my pipe or roaches.
I would crawl on the floor looking for crumbs.
At some point, the cops cracked down, and it became almost impossible to find anything in the area.
I started driving over state lines to find it. At one point, I had a seizure and was checked out by E.M.T.’s and referred to a specialist.
I lied to everyone about my drug use (and it never showed up on any urine tests), so I was never fully diagnosed.
Eventually, I ended up in the hospital for a psychotic episode. I tried to commit suicide, but the police saved me, who took me to the E.R.
It took that week-long stay at the hospital to detox off of the K2, but I continued to have episodes of psychosis and flashbacks.
To try to cope with the flashbacks from the K2 and the shame of the things I had done while on Spice, I began drinking heavily.
Once all of the K2 was finally out of the system (about six months later), I started abusing marijuana in the way that I had used K2.
It became a habitual addiction from my year-long experience of always smoking.
When I was drunk, I started using new drugs I never would have tried before K2 – cocaine, non-prescribed Adderall, anxiety medications, Molly laced with God-knows-what, etc., etc.
Soon, I was drinking and using a mix of uppers and downers all day long, and eventually, I ended up in the hospital a few more times.
I wrecked friendships, relationships, and my career.
I am proud to say that I have been free from Spice for a few years now, and I received counseling and treatment for my other addictions.
Unfortunately, due to my bad decision making in trying Spice, I am still experiencing mental health issues.
I have not been anxiety-free since my pre-Spice days, but I can say that each day it gets a little better.
I found that having a good set of medical professionals that would work with me when I lost myself, the insurance from my dream job has been invaluable.
It’s been especially helpful to find ways other than taking an addictive substance to deal with my problems – music, movies, therapy, and writing.
I felt like things would never get better, even after I quit smoking Spice, but they honestly do.
I don’t cough all the time anymore. I’m not stuck with worrying about when my supplier will be available or if I’m going to make it to the smoke shop before it closes.
I don’t have much money since I lost that great job, but working my way back up, and I’ve paid back almost all of my debts.
My family trusts me again, and my life is stable again.
If you are thinking of using Spice, PLEASE DON’T! I promise you; it’s NOT worth it!
If you are trying to quit, VISIT A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL! Don’t try to deal with it alone!
You will get sick from the withdrawals, but if you visit a hospital or recovery center for assistance, they can help you with both the mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.
I was given medications and therapy that made a huge difference for me.
It was much easier than when I had been forced to detox due to lack of supply or availability.
If you are still addicted, you can do it! I promise! You can kick this! You will feel so much better! I know it’s hard – you just want not to feel sick.
It feels awful, but you can stop.
You can! You can do it.