I was first introduced to spice back in 2010, when the older blends containing JWH-018 were still around on the market.
I was on probation and getting drug tested at the time, so it seemed like a great, harmless alternative. It was cheap, very easy to get, and the high was nothing short of blissful.
I thought I had found my new drug of choice. It smelled good, got me stoned, and didn’t show up on drug tests.
So near the end of 2011/beginning of 2012, the news came around that spice was to be scheduled. Still being on probation, I panicked.
A family member whom I lived with was also smoking spice, and saw this event as an opportunity to go buy up the rest of what the local headshop was offering. She ended up getting a whopping 25 grams of the stuff for $50. Plus, something the owner of the headshop gave her on the side – A “new” blend, that was to be compliant after the initial DEA ban.
Needless to say, that 25 grams didn’t last long, and eventually I found myself breaking into the newer “compliant” blend.
Right off the bat, I could tell the high was extremely different. It was more of a trip than anything, with symptoms of psychosis and delusions being apparent throughout the experience.
Yet for some reason, I greatly enjoyed this. The depersonalization, the disconnection from reality… it was all fun and games.
Fast forward to sometime in 2013, I had not smoked spice in some time, due to the fact that I didn’t know where to get it, and that cannabis was easily and readily available.
Soon around this time though, my friends and I started hearing anecdotal reports from our peers about the new spice being sold in the local headshops, now under the guise of “potpourri.” We were curious, all of us.
So one fateful day, when we didn’t have enough money to pick up a decent sized sack of cannabis, we decided to head over to the smokeshop and see what we could find.
I walk to the counter and ask the cashier “You guys have potpourri?”
He quickly responds, “Oh yeah, we got lots.”
They had two kinds on the shelf – one called “Magnum Opus” and one called “Mindbender.”
I asked if the Mindbender was the stronger of the two, and the cashier nodded his head “yes.” I hand him $13.50 for a 2-gram bag, and we are on our way back home with our bag of synthetic salad.
Considering myself to be quite accustomed to the effects of spice, I volunteer to be the “guinea pig” of sorts, the first one to test the new product.
Foolishly, I take a massive bong load. Upon exhaling, I immediately receive powerful, overwhelming effects. Intense visual distortion, body waves/tingles, and a strong buzzing feeling.
This newer spice was definitely not to be messed around with. Aside from those effects, I experienced terrible chest pain, rapid heart beat, nausea/gagging, and thickening of mucus and saliva.
But don’t think that these negative side effects prevented me from buying more.
Oh God, I needed more of the stuff every day. The high was so powerful and hard hitting, I just couldn’t accept coming out of the high and back into my dull, un-amusing life.
I got to the point where I needed to be under the influence of spice every minute of every day. My friends and I would do nothing all day but sit in a dirty old shed passing around bong bowls of spice, occasionally getting up to vomit or urinate outside.
One of my close friends (whom I was staying with temporarily) was also smoking the spice, and I started to notice it really taking a toll on his mental health. He would experience long periods of catatonia, awakening only to scream out in Agony at some psychotic delusion he was having, brought on by the synthetic cannabinoids.
By the time we tried to get him help though, it was too late. He committed suicide last year in July.
The death of my friend was not enough to stop my spice use. By the time he had passed, I was so heavily addicted that I had become homeless, jobless, and rejected by my family.
I would spend long periods of time sleeping in tunnels outside or literally just anywhere on the ground in a public place, like a park. I would panhandle during the day, trying to scrape up that precious few more bucks to go grab a bag of the only friend I had anymore.
All I cared about at any given time was smoking spice. The physical withdrawal symptoms were severe, and included muscle aches, constant vomiting, agitation, diarrhea, and lethargy. There were also severe mental problems starting to manifest due to my drug use, including symptoms of schizophrenia, worsening of bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
I was so depersonalized to the world around me that I would just lay there high, watching my life as if it were through the eyes of a moviegoer.
It is now present day. I’ve been 6 months clean from spice, and don’t intend to start using it again.
My family was willing to reach out and help my through my struggles, which I can proudly say I’ve now overcome.
I’m no longer a homeless, jobless, psychotic wreck of a being.
Since ceasing my use of spice, I now feel completely normal in regards to my mental health, as well as better physically than I have in quite some time.
If you are thinking about using spice, please do not.
Consider what I have been through. You don’t want to ruin your physical and mental health over some chemicals sprayed on leaves.
And if you are using spice now, I urge you to seek help. I know how hard it is, but with the proper motivation and support, you will overcome your addiction.