Synthetic "Pot" Takes More Teens to Hospital | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Synthetic "Pot" Takes More Teens to Hospital

The variety of chemicals used in "K2" and "Blaze" make it harder for medics to react to some crazy symptoms.


Synthetic drugs are a very broad church.
Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda


| Share

More kids are being hospitalized for "synthetic marijuana" use than ever before, shows a new study. Sold as "K2," "Spice," and "Blaze" the mixtures of different chemicals and plants are meant to give a similar high to cannabis. A study published in the March 19 issue of Pediatrics reports 4,500 calls to poison control centers between 2010 to 2011 regarding “problems” with synthetic pot, and reports a modest increase in ER visits after teens have taken it. Teenagers in the study reported symptoms such as agitation, aggression, excessive sweating, restlessness and an inability to speak. One boy was even hallucinating and experiencing a “frozen face,” with slowed speech. "When we suspected the use of synthetic marijuana in these patients, we soon realized that there is little information about this drug in the medical literature," says study author Dr. Joanna Cohen, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. "Because it is a relatively new drug, we should be aware of the symptoms and make a concerted effort to share our experiences in treating patients so we can develop best practices." Experts worry that many health professionals are unable to recognize the symptoms and act effectively.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv