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Spice: the drug that hospitalised five students | The Week UK
Five Lancaster University students have been hospitalised after taking a cannabis substitute known as 'Spice', reports the BBC. Two of the students are in a critical condition.
Lancaster University has issued a warning about the drug via its Twitter feed. Several students have been hospitalised today after taking legal high Spice — please check on friends and call if needed. Spice is a plant-based mix which has been coated with synthetic chemicals. This process turns it into a synthetic cannabinoid containing the same active chemical as cannabis. It is either smoked, or drunk like a herbal tea.
It was launched in the UK in and distributed via the internet. Initially, it was sold legally, but it was reclassified as a class B drug in , one of several cannabis-type substances outlawed that year. Spice's effects are similar to cannabis, making users feel happy and relaxed.
It can also spark paranoia. However, its effects are typically much stronger than cannabis. In some cases, users experience vomiting, extreme agitation and psychotic episodes including hallucinations and heart attacks. Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned. In , the parents of a California teenager who died after smoking a single 'hit' of Spice shared photographs of him in hospital to raise awareness of the drug's dangers.
Last month, New York state authorities issued a health alert following a dramatic spike in hospital visits for synthetic marijuana-related emergencies. Here in the UK, a betting shop employee was hospitalised this week after smoking synthetic cannabis with his boss. When did it appear? What effects does it have?
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