K2 Spice Hits the Ice in Anchorage

Drug users in Anchorage, Alaska are using K2 Spice at alarming rates and leaving local law enforcement agencies no choice but to ask the federal government for assistance to save the city.
Nina Fenton
Published on

You’ve likely heard the tales of zombie-esque behavior exhibited by those under the influence of Flakka in Florida and seen the frenzied dancing by ravers on Molly in Denver…But why? In short, the use of trendy synthetic drugs is on the rise in different parts of the United States and nothing seems to be able to stop these synthetic trains from delivering their man made, chemically laced drugs throughout the country regardless of the consequences.

No amount of snow, wicked cold temperatures or endless hours of sunlight have spared Anchorage, Alaska from falling prey to the K2 Spice synthetic drug trend. A fact that is rather interesting given the city’s reputation for being the farthest thing from in touch with current trends. Unfortunately, this is one trend that is far more harmful than being late on the latest fashion trends as it’s swiftly wreaking havoc on its users in a way that has never been seen in the city before.

What is K2 Spice?

K2 Spice is a relatively new form of synthetic marijuana that is often manufactured in laboratories in China. It made its way state side in 2008 after hitting it big in the UK 2004. This faux marijuana is a far cry from the mellow Mary Jane most of us are familiar with as it consists of a convoluted concoction of herbs that has been sprayed with various unregulated chemicals, including synthetic cannabinoids, stimulants, and other unknown potentially harmful substances. Basically, users partaking in a little K2 consumption are sparking up for a game of synthetic Russian Roulette that isn’t likely to end well.

Given its position as a synthetic drug that is yet to be fully banned, K2 may be found in colorful packages branding it as incense or potpourri with creative names like K2, Skunk, Moon Rocks, Yucatan Fire, Mojo, Spike, and Blaze in many smoke shops, convenient stores, bodegas and even on street corners. It may be purchased just as easily as a pack of gum for a small fee, which prompts distributors to sell their “product” in areas struggling economically and frequented by addicts who need to score for cheap without the risk of breaking laws.

K2 Spice in Anchorage

In 2010, the Anchorage Assembly made it first major move against K2 Spice and instituted the first ban based on its composition at the time. However, the manufacturers weren’t too keen on letting go of the profits being raked in, so ingredients were quickly changed. More attempts to thwart the growing issue were made in January of 2014 when a new law was passed by the Assembly, banning the drug based on its packaging as well as a list of labeling criteria. A similarly worded ban throughout the state was put into effect later that year.

Unfortunately, the attempts made to get a handle K2’s influence in Anchorage has failed to provide the forward momentum needed to be truly effective, with usage rates continuing to increase rather than decrease. Despite the difficult challenges they are faced with when fighting back against the drug, local law enforcement isn’t willing to toss in the towel just yet. Instead, they have submitted a request to the federal government asking for assistance with removing K2 from the city and the state before anymore harm is done.

Some progress is being made in an effort to ban the substances being used to manufacture K2, though. Alaska state officials have been able to successfully ban 11 chemicals used in addition to the 25 chemicals banned on a federal level. But the process is certainly slow going, especially when you consider that 100+ synthetic cannabinoid varieties already exist given and the savvy nature of the drug’s manufacturers who will surely continue to crank out new variations of in an attempt to stay two steps ahead of law enforcement at all times.

The Dangers of Spice

Each month dozens of Anchorage residents are hospitalized after using K2 as a result of its “hemlock like characteristics,” according to authorities. Given the nature of this dangerous Spice game, the ingredients change with the rapidly from batch to batch, which is often accompanied by rapidly changing side effects. Some users have been known to experience:

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Hallucinations
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Vomiting and nausea
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Extreme anxiety and agitation
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Paranoia and psychotic episodes
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Intense cravings and erratic behavior
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Elevated blood pressure and increased heart rate
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Seizures and tremors

The use of most substances an be confirmed with the use of a drug test in order to appropriately treat a patient while under the influence. This is far from the case when it comes to determining if a patient should be treated for the use of K2, though. The revolving door of ingredients used when manufacturing this drug makes its use difficult to confirm unless a very specific Spice (K2, Synthetic Marijuana, Synthetic Weed) Drug Test that can detect the synthetic cannabinoid is used. This lapse in drug testing technology leaves many health care workers at a difficult, frustrating and at times dangerous disadvantage, especially as the number of patients being admitted under its influence increases.

The synthetic cannabinoids used when manufacturing K2 add more fuel to this already dangerous fire given their be highly addictive nature, which obviously results in users who quickly find themselves ensnared in its clutches. There are some people who crave the intense high that the drug gives as much as a person addicted to hardcore drugs like crack or heroin craves their high. So, suffice it to say, that K2 Spice needs to be iced out of Anchorage because it’s far too easy to obtain, priced right for users regardless of their financial situation and dangerous enough to warrant intervention from outside agencies.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

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