Aug 14, 2014 7:12 PM by Ashlea Bullington
Often refereed to as 'Spice', 'K2', and 'No More Mister Nice Guy', "Synthetic Marijuana" has become a growing health concern in Acadiana. Once marketed as a "legal high," synthetic marijuana was banned nationally in 2012. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, between January and June of this year, 795 cases of synthetic marijuana overdoses have already been reported to poison centers.
Counselors say the drug is addictive and extremely dangerous, causing not only physical effects, but mental health issues like permanent psychosis. Since the ban, there have been an increasing number of deaths from synthetic marijuana use. In March, hospitals throughout the Baton Rouge area reported treating at least 100 people in a period of two weeks for synthetic marijuana overdoses. Also, a store known as Curious Goods in Lafayette, came under scrutiny after being caught selling a brand of synthetic marijuana known as "Mr. Miyagi."
In June, agents with the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force implemented a ban on two newly discovered synthetic marijuana compounds. Police had been notified of stores that were suspected of selling K2 after several people who had made purchases at the stores showed up at hospitals having seizures and experiencing hallucinations as a result of using the drug.
Counselors at the Acadiana Addiction Center say they are seeing a growing number of clients with addiction to synthetic marijuana. Narcotics Counselor Care Speranza says, that even though it might not be the client's substance of choice, a large percentage of patients in the center have used this drug.
The high from K2 is dangerous. Recovering addict, "Michael", told KATC that the high was different than marijuana. It was so strong that it took over his every thought. Now that he has been clean for a year and a half, he says he feels like his life has done a complete 360. He said he could have never done it without the Acadiana Addiction Center.
For more information on the Acadiana Addiction center go to