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Let me start off by saying that I used to be an avid user of marijuana. I didn't use it every day, mainly due to legal reasons and it's negative impact on my motivation, however I did use it perhaps 3-4 times a week, even perhaps medicinally as I had barely any appetite nor creativity without it..
Last year I was arrested for possession of marijuana, and was given a 6 month probationary sentence. I was required to submit to 6 clean UA's in order to avoid jail time, and more importantly, avoid the permanent drug charge and it's potential life-long career damages and/or implications.
That was when I received a phone call that changed my life. An old co-worker of mine, also a had-been avid user of marijuana, called me while high off of this K2 substance. He was fumbling for words, laughing profusely and complained of utter starvation. He explained how he stumbled upon this new designer drug that mimics the effects of marijuana, yet does not appear in drug tests, readily available at a local headshop.
In utter disbelief, I rushed to the headshop and purchased 3 grams of a product called K2 Summit. I was rather dissatisfied with the price and had little to no expectations, however I proceeded to fire it up in the headshop parking lot. As I blew out the first hit, I immediately felt as if I had smoked a whole joint of commercial grade marijuana.
I immediately began to panic. I was on probation for the first time in my life, 20 years old, on my 2nd clean month, and here I was stoned out my mind. There is absolutely no way this will not show up on my drug test, I thought. Come to find out, I passed the upcoming drug test and that was when I fell in love.
The only thing I didn't like about this K2 was the fact it didn't last as long, and the extreme urge to re-dose. I suspect the flowery scent and foul taste didn't stray me away at first, simply because of the fact that it took 10 times less of this substance to get me twice as high.
So, I rode the last 4 months out and passed every single drug test stoned out of my mind. Not once throughout my probationary period did I even remotely consider risking smoking pot. I can't say I would have felt the same if I didn't find K2, because of how much my weight and social behavior was dependent on being high.
Being in my financial situation, I decided to dive deeper into the K2 rabbit hole, and figure out just what the hell was getting me high - and if there was any possible way I could acquire this substance in higher purity. That was whenever I discovered the golden beauty beneath the mask that ruined my favorite drug: John W. Huffman (JWH).
I immediately scoured the internet for reputable research chemical vendors. It didn't take me long to find it all over the place, in 99.9% purity. So I purchased a couple grams of JWH-018, and began making my own spice. It was quite more potent than the stuff I had been buying before, and I was able to produce very large yields. Life was great - I was stoned out of my mind every single day, eating very well and maintaining my weight, remaining social and creative, euphoric and overall satisfied. I was also relieved that I actually knew what I was smoking. What more could I ask for?
This continued on for another month or two. JWH-018 then became a schedule 1 substance - I knew it was only a matter of time, but I quickly found yet another legal alternative to my favorite substance. Unfortunately I settled with JWH-250. I say unfortunately because the effects of this substance only lasted 30 minutes, with an even higher urge to redose. However, due to the DEA's emergency scheduling and failing War on Drugs, I once again was forced to take one step forward and two steps back.
The months faded. My tolerance shot through the roof, further desensitizing my CB receptors. There were times when I bought JWH250 whenever I knew I was absolutely not in the financial situation to do so, but did it anyway. I did not know why I had become so seemingly addicted to this stuff. Afterall, I was never this way with marijuana. I lost my job, many friends, and even got kicked out of my home because of this drug.
After I had exhausted my $5000 federal tax refund on nothing but JWH and fast food, I became extremely depressed. Mainly due to the fact that I was down to my last few hundred dollars, with no job nor any motivation of getting one, and I was down to my last few grams of JWH. I started selling spice online, thinking I could inflate the price and use the profit to maintain my habit. However, even this was beyond my control; I found myself at times sending customers plain Damiana leaves because I was running too low on JWH. It's as if I was in a mindset that only cared for the short-term future. After all, there is no such thing as 'long term' when you are completely baked out of your mind all hours of the day, all days of the week.
Eventually, I somewhat came to my senses and realized that I had little to no recollection of the past 8 months of my life. I lost track of time, my funds, my friends, family. I had no inhibitions, no goals, I even lost my creativity. This drug, I realized, is doing absolutely nothing for me except wasting my life. It tunneled me into a frenzy of depression and, subsequently, I almost overdosed on my last half-gram.
My first day off the substance was not that bad. My appetite wasn't quite as good, but it wasn't that bad either. I had a severe urge to go find some means of buying just one more gram, but I couldn't do that to myself.
The next day was essentially the worse day of my life. I was sweating profusely, my heart beat was off the charts. I could feel my heart pounding through my chest. I felt very hungry when I woke up, but as soon as I took a bite of food, I immediately got sick. I suspected I had the stomach flu, because I had diarrheal symptoms as well. My stomach felt like it was eating itself. I was shaking as if I was on a large dose of methamphetamine. My pupils were dilated, I was more nauseated than I had ever been in my life. I tried to sleep this off, but sleep was impossible. I would wake up completely drenched in sweat every single hour. I had no idea why I was sweating this bad because it was pretty cold in the house, so you can imagine how cold I would get waking up every hour drenched.
I had these strange nightmares that were halfway in between me being awake and asleep. I found myself unable to move, talk, think, or even breath when I was sandwhiched in between consciousness. It felt like sleep anea; I would wake up not because of the nightmare I was having, but because of the fact I absolutely could not breath and was dying for oxygen. Time after time again, I woke up from these nightmares covered in cold sweat.
The vomiting has subsided, but the constant nausea has not. I have lost 10 pounds since I started detox. I absolutely cannot fucking eat. I am immensely depressed, trying to rekindle my motivation to work. I no longer have the desire nor creativity to indulge myself in the hobbies I had in the past, such as web design and video production. I find myself smoking plain damiana leaves in order to fall asleep, because that's what I was using to make my own spice and I had become so habitually accustomed to smoking it, that it helped immensely even though it had no high to it. I still have nightmares, however the sleep apnea is subsiding. I consider suicide multiple times daily, but cannot bring myself to it. I have no sexual desire, no appetite, no goals or even friends. I am so sleep deprived and losing so much weight, I am being accused of abusing meth.
This shit ruined my life. Marijuana was wonderful. It lasted hours, it didn't ruin my tolerance, and I wasn't mentally forced to re-dose. I have exhausted all of my financial assets into staying on this substance, and to this day (2 weeks after detox) I still cannot eat, sleep, and have absolutely no energy. I am still shaking and my heart continues to beat rapidly, and I also still wake up in cold sweats.
Does anyone on this forum have any similar experience with using, abusing, and quitting this drug? I have seen people describe withdraws after a few weeks of using this stuff. Imagine using it for 8 months daily and stopping cold turkey!
Is there any safe drugs I can take to help me through this extremely long detox phase? Does anyone recommended self-hospitalization? A psychiatrist perhaps? I have lost everything because of this drug. If you are reading this, and you are using K2, I strongly urge you to reconsider. This is the most addictive chemical I have ever encountered, and I've encountered very very many. I am in need of help, advice, and retrospective. Thank you for reading.
I'm afraid I can't give you much by way of specific help here, but I can speak from the experience of detoxing off methadone and benzodiazepines after many years of drug use. Withdrawal from anything addictive is just not nice.
When I quit methadone this time round, it took a few months to find my energy levels coming back. I imagine it will be the same for you. In fact the symptoms you describe, the cold sweat, the dilated pupils, disturbed sleep seem quite like opiate withdrawals, which are not pleasant.
The idea of trying to find other drugs to help you through is, in my view, absolutely the wrong way to go. You would do far better to just let the withdrawal take its course. That way you can allow your brain to return to normal functioning rather than further confound it with other chemicals.
You might feel getting some support, such as recovery group meetings, or local drug services useful. Keeping a journal on here is what kept me sane through the many near-sleepless nights I had in my own withdrawal.
Things will get better in time, it just requires a bit of patience and perseverance to keep going and not give in to temptations to use again. Give it time and you will find new interests and start to enjoy life again. I would highly recommend meditation and yoga, both of which I have found incredibly useful in helping with mental and physical health after giving up drugs.
All best wishes, and keep us informed of how things are going
I'm really really glad that you posted this. SWIM has been using some sort of JWH daily/multiple times a day for at least 12 months straight. There was one night that he knows of for sure that he didn't use and he had the same symptoms as you - waking up drenched with sweat every hour or so...
How is SWIY feeling now? have SWIY been able to keep off?
SWIM was in this EXACT same situation, but with a dxm addiction included (except toward the end when it just plain stopped working; doses high enough for effect would be vomited almost immediately).
Waiting it out is always a good option, just to see how much of it is acute w/d, but SWIM knows too well this is sometimes impossible.
What worked for SWIM:
-a combination of anti-depressants that were effective for him. After a couple years of struggling through side-effects and ineffective medications, he read some information on the combination of venlafaxine and mirtazipine, intriguingly dubbed "California Rocket Fuel." He had been on venlafaxine for some months, and quetiapine for sleep, but the former was hardly effective for its prescribe purpose, and the latter had plenty of unwanted side-effects. Adding the mirtazipine had some benefit within days, and seemed to reach full effect in a matter of two weeks, but venlafaxine takes a bit longer to take effect. However, one size never fits all, and SWIY may not even struggle with depression\anxiety, but SWIM has found that it tends to underlie almost all addictions. I stress, this is just what worked for SWIM, but also something to consider.
-BACLOFEN. A rather old muscle relaxant more recently discovered to have potential in treating addiction. A French-American docter, Olivier Ameisen, wrote a book about it suppressing his alcoholism completely, and it has helped many people since. In studies, it has shown not only to suppress alcohol cravings, but also craving for cocaine. And for SWIM, substance craving across the board. If SWIY finds a doctor willing to prescribe it (it would have to be off-label, though the information on it's suppression of drug craving can easily be found on the internet; have SWIY show the doc some reputable print-outs), he/she will probably start SWIY on a very low dose, 5-10 mg 3 times a day, but SWIY will most likely need more for it to have much benefit. For SWIM, 80-100 mg per day was enough, and that is the dose he still takes. Dr. Ameisen found, and SWIM too, that it not only suppresses craving, but also the underlying anxiety that tends to start the cycle. Again, it might not be SWIY's answer, but it was SWIM's.
-There is, obviously, a lot more to it than medications. It is a learning process, as SWIY probably well knows. SWIM had been through two rehabs, 75 days total, acquired a felony (spending 7 days in jail before the attorney got him out to a rehab, which would have been no big deal if he were not detoxing and didn't spend 5 days of it in a solitary holding cell), spent some time in dxm psychosis, and ruined almost all of his relationships. If it weren't for all this, there would have been no point in the medications. Only suffering made SWIM willing to get shit together.
I hope SWIY can figure it out without further suffering. My thoughts are with him.
I can identify with this person the effects of smoking k2 for only 3 months and the health problems tht came with it, i like others presumed it cant be that bad for me if the government isnt doing anything about it, smoked for the first time and i was so high tht i threw up everywhere, instant diarreha which ultimately landed me with haemoroids because of the neverending diarehha. I gave up because my lungs were so sore tht i coughed one nite so violently tht it tore my ligaments on the muscles around the ribs, excruciating pain i was put into hospital, yet i still smoked it!! u lose all sense of right and wrong on this stuff. My withdrawls were horrendous, not sleeping for days straight, dizzyness (low blood pressure) heart palpatations, sweats with chills, nausea and constant gag reflex, dry eyes wth aversion to bright light, i cant evn begin to imagine adding another 5 months of body damage added to that, Good Luck with the K2 buzz because it doesnt last things turn very sour very quickly with the crap 2min high.
I have experienced this drug before. The synthetic cannibinoids do mimic the effects of marijuana and the withdraw symptoms are the same as opiates. I too am going through the withdraw symptoms of this drug, but my greatest advice to you would be to wait it out and stay strong. I have made several trips to emergency clinics to seek help but they told me that it was all in my head. And they were right. Over come what your mind is trying to do. Your brain became so use to using this drug that it wants more. It craves it. Drink plenty of water to release the toxins from your muscle and to flush out your system of this drug. If possible, stop smoking anything and everything. It really helps. Drink plenty of Gatorade because your body needs to get its electrolytes back. A detox nurse told me to mix two small packs of sugar with the Gatorade to speed up the process. Your body needs a little more to get through this. I'm at the end of my detox and its been a little over a month. Its still in my system because I'm still coughing up black phlegm, but I'm almost there. Some of the symptoms that tell me I'm still going through the withdraws is the pins and needles feeling I get from time to time, the feeling like something is crawling up my skin, and the consistent anxiety and feeling like there is something wrong with me. I have had x-rays, blood tests, physical exams, and therapy to diagnose what my condition could be. All have come back normal and I have been told repeatedly that its in my head. The brain is a powerful thing. Don't let it fool you and please disregard any thoughts of suicide. May G-d be with you.
Last edited by Kitts; 01-08-2014 at 15:10.
Reason: Removal of long quote
i have used spice for almost four years now on and off. I quit about 2 years ago after being arrested on possession of the stuff. It was difficult to quit but i had no choice at the time and had a group of friends who quit along with me so it wasnt to hard. within the past six months i have started smoking again. i told myself i would not let it get out of control like before. of course that didnt work, and now i have found myself in a familiar situation as before. only this time i dont have anyone. i dont have any friends to look to for support. the only person i have is my boyfriend and while i love him very much, he smokes the stuff too so he isnt much help for when im looking to talk about stuff like this. i have read your story about trying to quit and i am going through almost EXACTLY the same thing. if i dont have this drug for more than about 20 hours i start to get very sick. i vomit sour shit until the next time i smoke. i sweat profusely. i cant eat. ive literally gone an entire 3 days without eating anything. literally made my favorite foods only to sit there and stare at them wishing i could force myself to eat them, but i cant. i cant sleep. ive stayed up that whole 3 days too. its ridiculous. its horrible to not be able to sleep without the high. i no longer have these panic attacks that other people speak of. Even the strongest shit in the store doesnt get me that high anymore. I am terrified to think that i have really fucked myself for life in certain ways. one of my close friends just went to rehab for spice and heroin abuse and he is now 61 days sober and he says he still hardly ever sleeps.
me and my boyfriend have recently talked about quitting soon. we have both decided that we dont like the things it does to us. we dont like the people it makes us. i am scared to think about having to go days or weeks with withdraws like i have had before or worse. but i have to do something. no one wants anything to do with me anymore mostly because of this drug. i spend all my money on it and basically all i do is sit in my house and smoke until my eyes close. i lie to my family to get money. ive sold my stuff to get it. i will spend my scraped together change on it if i can even if im choosing getting high over having food or gas in my car. i hate the way i feel now. i never really understood addiction until i met this monster. i applaud anyone who stops smoking this stuff..dont give up. i wish i could be 2 weeks clean instead of sitting here reading other peoples stories about how they are and wishing i was strong like them. i wish you the best of luck as you try to get your life back.
AND SERIOUSLY PEOPLE DO NOT FUCK WITH THIS SHIT. IT COMPLETELY CHANGES YOU. IT MAKES U SICK SOMETIMES EVEN WHEN U R NOT WITHDRAWING. IT CHANGES THE WAY THINGS TASTE. I DONT FEEL PHYSICALLY RIGHT IN MY OWN SKIN ANYMORE. SOMETIMES MY SKIN FEELS NUMB FOR PERIODS OF TIME. IT FUCKS WITH MY VISION. LATELY WHEN I STAND UP I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO PASS OUT. IT MAKES YOUR SKIN GROSS AND MAKES EVERYTHING AROUND YOU SMELL BAD. YOU LOSE THE DESIRE TO EAT UNLESS YOU ARE HIGH. YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT SLEEP NORMALLY. 2 HOURS IF YOU ARE LUCKY AT A TIME AND THAT IS ONLY AFTER SMOKING A BOWL. I HAVE NO SLEPT A NIGHT ALL THE WAY THROUGH WITHOUT OTHER DRUGS OR ALCOHOL IN MONTHS. I AM SO DEPRESSED. I HATE MYSELF ALL THE TIME. I CANT EVEN LOOK AT MYSELF IN THE MIRROR AND I HAVE NO DESIRE TO DO ANYTHING BESIDES GET HIGH. THE THOUGHT OF STOPPING MAKES ME JUMP TO SELF HARM AND SUICIDE AND HEAVY DRINKING. I BECOME ANGRY AND FIGHT WITH THE PERSON I LOVE IN THIS WORLD THE MOST OVER THESE STUPID FUCKING GREEN LEAVES!! DONT DO IT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
seriously, i dont want anyone else to have to go through this shit. i agree with you. this shit has ruined my life as well. i dont know if i can get it back. i dont know how i am going to even begin this journey. i hope if i can find others who are struggling with this same addiction maybe we can find support in each other. this is a new drug and it is not commonly understood or known about. especially not its addictive qualities. anyone out there trying to get clean off spice or any other drug: you are not alone. keep fighting. stay strong.