Eric was a crack cocaine addict for twelve years. He has devoted his life to helping others overcome drug addiction and substance abuse.
Take it from a veteran ex-crack addict and ex-weed head, it’s not worth the cost to get high
Let’s face it; there will always be a certain number of people who will continue to smoke marijuana. Since I overcame crack cocaine addiction, I have been on a mission to help others by teaching them how to overcome addiction. I have also concluded that if I cannot persuade people to end their addictive cycle, the least I can do is warn them of the impending danger of an imminent catastrophe that is just around the corner. Therefore, heed this warning: DO NOT SMOKE SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA!
I am amazed at how far some people will go to get high, especially those with drug experience. By the same token, my heart goes out to the many young people who get caught up in the moment of having fun by experiencing a new drug. Most of all, I am saddened at the loss of the many parents who have suffered needlessly at the hands of some money-hungry villain who would stoop so low as to poison another human being for a dollar.
In my old hometown of Metairie, Louisiana, two teenagers were hospitalized after smoking synthetic weed, another type of designer drug which has become a menacing problem in the world of drug use. One of those teens was a 14-year-old girl who took a hit of a synthetic marijuana cigarette and immediately went into cardiac arrest. The other teen was a 16-year-old girl who ended up in the hospital after smoking synthetic marijuana. As she walked into the mall, the young girl said the bushes and trees were talking to her and jumping around. Frightened, she passed out, and onlookers called EMS. Both girls said they had been smoking synthetic marijuana called “POW!”
The age range of users is staggering
The age range of people who smoke synthetic pot is phenomenal. Young people as early as 13 have been observed smoking the drug. Not only do the very young and teens smoke this new synthetic pot, but detectives in Jefferson Parish have also noted that adults—soccer moms and senior citizens—as old as 70 buy this synthetic death, as agents observed them enter stores that were under surveillance to buy fake weed.
When I talk to young drug users they all tell me that “the game has changed.” But the game has not changed. Drugs will always be about money and death. The only thing that has changed is integrity and the market. Not even drug dealers have integrity anymore—not that they ever did—but there was a time when you could count on getting what you paid for, but today you can never be sure of what you’re buying when you buy drugs.
The market has changed tremendously. Who needs a hookup? No longer are drug deals only made in dark alleys and the darkness of night, now you can buy drugs like “K2” "Diablo" and “POW!” right out in the open at the corner convenience store and on the Internet.
People are probably misled into believing that because synthetic pot is sold over the counter that it is safe to use. But that is not the case by a long shot. Synthetic pot can kill you. I say this from my heart to my young generation, “It’s not worth the cost to get high.”
Synthetic pot is dangerous stuff
People are being misguided, believing that synthetic marijuana is like the bush that comes out of the ground. But if you’ve ever smoked real marijuana you would know that it doesn’t give you seizures and send you to the ER in cardiac arrest. That is what synthetic pot does to its user. I can put enough emphasis on the fact that this is dangerous stuff!
Instead of giving you the sensation of smoking the earth-grown bush, synthetic marijuana produces symptoms that are very similar to that of cocaine and crack cocaine. The two highs are opposite each other. I remember my days as a crack addict, how I would smoke crack to get high, and when I had smoked too much crack, I would smoke pot to bring me back down. But this new age pot is nothing more than laboratory-induced death. I have never smoked pot that gave me a sensation of a high, accompanied by side effects like delusion, violent paranoia, and thoughts of suicide that lasted for days and sometimes weeks. It will get you high, but at the same time, you just might die. Please hear me when I say, “It’s just not worth the cost to get high.”
One thing that makes synthetic pot so dangerous is that the chemical composition of the drug is constantly changing. People who make this stuff buy the active ingredients in powder form from unregulated chemists, mostly in China. Then they dissolve the powder in liquid acetone which is the chemical used in nail polish remover and then add hallucinogens and nicotine. It is then sprayed onto dried plant leaves.
But what makes synthetic pot dangerous is what we do not know. We do not know what synthetic pot can do to humans because many of the substances found in synthetic pot have never been tested on anything. You could smoke synthetic pot and one month later you could be diagnosed with some dreaded nerve or brain syndrome that will never go away. Or you could be a perfectly normal individual with a bright future and after smoking synthetic pot you could become suicidal for the rest of your life. These are things we just don’t know yet, and by the time we find out needless lives will be ruined and lost. It’s just not worth the cost to get high!
Karlos on July 11, 2015:
My brother was smoking a synth called dark knight, he passed away yesterday from a heart attack after smoking it. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on September 11, 2014:
I believe this time your mom has reached her bottom. Believe it or not, my story is worse than hers, but I snapped out of it after 12 years, but only because my son and my youngest daughter were persistent and would not let me go. I will forever be grateful for their persistence.
Your story could end in a similar way. You won't know if you give up.
miranda on September 11, 2014:
At this time I am not really sure what to do. When she was sent home from the hospital 2 years ago she stayed with my brother and his family, then with my family. I went to all the places I knew of and turned pic of her in to every employee at all locations. I checked back with them after she started driving again, lo and behold she had hit all of them looking to buy it. I noticed one evening she was pretty bummed. After conversation, I told her of my actions. She was really mad at me. She moved out the next day. Living in her car and occasionally at a shelter. She had a handful of friends left that let her stay on and off. She fucked every friendship up one by one (reasons I will never know... I got lies). After a year of sobriety and moving from couch to couch, (including mine) her very last friend got her a job taking care of an elderly man. She had since married him and he has given her everything he ever worked for. On one of her recent episodes (God only knows what she did on that shit) he was taken into protective custody from her. He has been gone 3 weeks. She is facing abuse and neglect charges from dhs and what relatives he has left. She will soon loose everything that has been handed to her. The way she acts currently reminds me of someone that belongs in a mental hospital. I cannot say or do anything that gets any reaction. There is not one visible spark. She is denying any relations with it, even though I found some in her purse. (Telling me it must have been left over from before) I am not stupid. Therefore refusing treatment of any kind.
I am a Christian, and pray for her day and night. It is almost all i can do anymore.
I have 2 kids. 5 yr and 1 yr. My oldest was 3 last time we did this. She has mostly forgotten things. As I can see your point of view with the children, I will not let her see my mom this way. I have already told her that g-ma is sick and that when she gets better she will see her. I honestly don't know that my mom would be affected by seeing her right now anyhow.
So although I am not really open for my oldest seeing her right now I am open to suggestions. Thanks for listening to such a long story.
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on September 11, 2014:
First, I salute you for being strong for your children. About your mother's addiction. K2 is not only very addicting, it is also very deadly. Some people have used K2 and didn't last as long as your mom, so there is hope. As long as she is with us, there is hope.
May I suggest that you find out where she is buying this stuff and have the shop shut down. K2 is illegal everywhere, and the authorities would love to know about this shop. What makes K2 illegal is the formula cannot be documented because it changes with almost every batch, so you never know what is in this stuff.
I think it will create more problems if you hide the children from your mother, so the very next thing you should do is sit down and talk with your children; explain to them what is happening to their grandmother.
I know it may be very difficult, but shower your mother with love. It is the only chance you have of convincing her to stop smoking K2.
If you believe in God, Miranda, you should pray for your mother. Prayer is unexplained, but it is powerful. When I began to pray for myself, God delivered me from a 12 year crack cocaine addiction. That was 20 years ago.
Fight for your mother, as she is unable to fight for herself right now, because she is not herself right now. Tell her that she is stronger than K2. Tel her how proud it would make you and her grandchildren if she were to quit using K2. Whatever you do, don't just give up on her. She needs you now more than ever.
miranda on September 11, 2014:
I am 32 years old and watching my mother go through this addiction. She started using it when she worked at the casino and they did random drug tests. After 2 years of continuous use she became a different person. Her personality changed, as well as her judgment, decisions, and many other notable differences. Then she went to the hospital. Had 2 seizures and a brain anurism. She was there for a week. She lost her job, and her home. I thought that was her rock bottom that some people need to want to help themselves. She was sober for the most part up until about 3 months ago. She had started back on it, and will not last long on it. She no longer knows her days, her words can hardly be understood. She doesn't have the help she had last time. My children are old enough to see the changes in their grandma and I don't want these memories to be the ones they remember. She refuses help of any kind. I fully expect to bury my mother before the end of this year. It's a sad, destructive addiction.
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on August 04, 2014:
Hi Jonah. That was very straightforward and good advice for anyone looking to get high, thinking they're getting something like a weed high. What makes it so bad is that nobody knows what's in the stuff. The formula changes whenever the FEDS get hot on their tracks. That's how they escape being prosecuted.
I don't want to preach at you Jonah, but I just want t ask you two questions:
1. Are you still smoking meth?
2. If you are, what are you doing to stop?
jonah on August 04, 2014:
Iam 16 and i smoked this for 6 months every day at least 2 or 3 bags a day. like when i would smoke meth and i would come down off the high i would hit the spice one time and it would bring me back up like i just hit the meth again i have been off of spice for about 3months now and i don't feel like me anymore i have no wont to if that makes since like i don't care anymore it is some nasty shit i would get it my floor tryin to find a bowl to get high when i would run out please just walk away if someone offers you a hit it not worth it at all
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on January 22, 2014:
I am an ex crack addict and I can assure you that synthetic pot is definitely nothing like meth or crack. But that does not change the fact that it is dangerous to smoke synthetic pot. All drugs are potentially dangerous, even those prescribed by a physician.
Your all stupid on January 22, 2014:
It's like meth and crack? Are you ppl ok? It's def nothing like crystal meth. It grabs on to cannabinoid receptors in your brain....which has nothing to do with or even closely resembles either of those drugs.
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on December 08, 2013:
That is a very wise decision my friend, and may I add, it is good advice.
jb33 on December 06, 2013:
I smoked just about every chemical version of this for four years staight. It is highly addictive. I would wake up every hour to smoke it and when I finally quit I went through awful withdrawal. My best advice is to stay the hell away from this.
worried on November 08, 2013:
my brother smokes this so do i my brother one day had like a meltdown now hes like a different personality he speaks with an australian accent
... we live in usa never been to australia and when he takes 2 hits hes himself again has anyone ever heard of this with k2 smoking?????
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 12, 2013:
Think Twice Before You Smoke Synthetic Pot sounds a danger to ones health and definitely shouldn't be used by any individual. The problem with such kind of substances most individuals don't care of their lives and don't think about their actions. A well explained hub
dc on January 13, 2013:
brody you can stop you just need the willpower and someone to support you when it gets too hard. the next message i see you write on here is that you have made the effort to try to give up and that you haven't had any recently
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on January 12, 2013:
You are making a terrible mistake brody. Please do more research and reconsider your actions before it is too late.
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on January 12, 2013:
Thanks for sharing your experience dc; I encourage you to continue sharing, you may save a life
brody on January 12, 2013:
im only 15 but I smoke this stuff constantly 4g a day average I am addicted and can't stop
dc on January 11, 2013:
I live in wa australia and when this stuff first came out here is was avaulable everywhere. i smoked one cone of it and felt soooooooooo paranoid it wasn't funny. A man around fortyish had a heart attack and died from smoking it as well. another time i had it accidentally thinking it was the real stuff, i went and had a shower because i was all shaky and couldn't think properly but my thought included killing someone with a knife, just go and stabb him my head was telling me. lucky enough i was able to contol those thoughts but it was scary stuff. i dint incourage anyone to smoke this SHIT it is not normal marajuana and will do a lot of long term damage to your brain as it is made to look like weed and they tell you its just like real weed but it is NOT. It is laced with chemicals that can and will kill you. people go on about others who are addicted to meth and drugs like that well this is no better. halucinations, paranoia, pshycotic episodes, outbursts of vviolence, heart attacks, trembling, voices in your head, vomitting, coma, etc etc etc. if you are stupid enough to smoke inhale swallow however you use it you are a f_king idiot. people don't just write these things because they want to spoil your fun but because they don't want to loose loved ones or friends to this crap. if you are reading this and you do smoke it stop for a second and think about the possibility of it have serious effects on you at some point, think of your family and what they have to endure once your comatosed or become disabled. smokers you should put yourselves in the shoes of the people around you and think how you may feel about life itf you had to take constant care of someone who has become FUCKED UP over this discusting excuse for a drug. the makers of this stuff should be put out of business and they are two totally different htings but it sholud be banned everywhere just like guns should be. one real stupid way to loose a lifr and IT CAN AND WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU CONTINUE TO USE IT.....
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on November 30, 2012:
Yes Anon, that is exactly what I am saying; synthetic pot is a killer. I am a veteran ex-drug addict. I smoked marijuana for almost thirty years and there is no way anyone can compare earth grown pot to a laboratory produced synthetic. Anyone who says that marijuana is "the devil" is out of touch with reality.
As I said in this hub, "One thing that makes synthetic pot so dangerous is that the chemical composition of the drug is constantly changing. People who make this stuff buy the active ingredients in powder form from unregulated chemists, mostly in China. Then they dissolve the powder in a liquid acetone which is the chemical used in nail polish remover and then add hallucinogens and nicotine. Without naming any chemical other than liquid acetone which is the chemical used in nail polish remover.”
Why is it necessary that you know the exact chemicals that are used to make this stuff? Just the fact that you are smoking acetone alone should make you wonder whether or not it is safe. I have smoked a lot of pot in my life but I have never seen anyone get high on pot and eat their family dog, http://gawker.com/5921416/man-eats-dog-high-on-syn...
Anon, if you play with this stuff you will surely pay a price. Not everyone “clicks out” immediately, but you WILL pay a consequence for smoking synthetic pot.
ANON on November 29, 2012:
eric, based on what facts are you saying synthetic pot is a killer? (synthetic pot) is a very general term... what chemicals are you talking about? Your banter is not much different than of those "Marijuana is the Devil" propaganda spread by the US gov in the 1960s.
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on August 16, 2012:
Biased or not the facts are clear. Synthetic pot is a killer. Must innocent people continue to ruin their lives before we realize the truth?
Uhmm on August 14, 2012:
This is a pretty bias article
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on August 07, 2012:
So sorry to hear about your father and your brother, gersema. Please do whatever you can to help them overcome this horrible addiction. It is by far more dangerous than meth.
gersema on August 07, 2012:
my 2 brothers and father a addicted 2 synthetic pot its like meth
kenwc84 on August 06, 2012:
The chemicals come from China? Well that tells us a lot already!
Eric Dunbar (author) from New Orleans on July 31, 2012:
Thanks manatita44 for your very encouraging and uplifting comment.
manatita44 from london on July 31, 2012:
A thought-provoking hub. Well-written and with an extremely necessary and uplifting message. Sound practical advice. One of the better hubs that I have read. Happy that you have been helped and are using your writing skills in a loving way. Try to attract more readers and if necessary post the same article elsewhere. It's message is timeless and mandatory, especially for younger readers. God bless you.