Synthetic marijuana known as K2 or Spice is appealing to teens. You can often go to the corner gas station and find it in pot pourri-like products and by smoking it you can get an intense high. It’s of course unregulated and who knows what’s in it.
Many teens have had serious adverse reactions to it including racing heart beat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and paranoia. ERs have been inundated with kids who have been unwittingly exposed thinking it wasn’t any different than pot or perhaps less risky because it was over the counter. In actuality, K2 may be riskier than pot.
Recently over a dozen teens who have had no history of kidney problems in the past and who had no other drug exposure besides Spice or K2 went into kidney failure after smoking it. A couple of the teens died and several others needed to undergo dialysis while their kidneys recovered from the assault.
I understand that teens are inherently stupid in this way: they don’t ever think that anything bad will happen to them even if they understand it can happen. They don’t think that if they text and drive they’ll get in an accident; they don’t think they’ll fail the test that they’ll fail since they sort of listened mostly in class. Teens are also known for experimentation. They try new hairstyles and music genres and attitudes, and sometimes they even want to try something dangerous just to see how it feels.
K2 or Spice is particularly dangerous. I encourage parents to talk to their teens about it realistically, but also with an understanding that some experimentation with something is likely to happen. Try to deflect it away from this and toward something else. Like a new hairstyle.