Monday, July 19, 2010

K2 Contributes To Teen's Suicide

Article first published as Death Validates Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana on Blogcritics.

On June 6, 2010, Indianola, Iowa, teen, David Rozga, 18, committed suicide after having a panic attack attributed to smoking K2 with his friends. After consumption, he told them that he was going to hell then went home where he shot and killed himself. His parents and the police place the blame for his actions on K2, because according to David’s parents, this was out of character.

This is the first death reported that might be directly linked to consuming K2, and has prompted the Governor to issue a statewide warning about its use and potential dangers. Iowa lawmakers are also looking at how they can ban K2, following the steps of the increasing number of municipalities and states that have done so all ready.

People that have smoked the synthetic marijuana have reported such side effects as deep depression, hallucinations, feelings of “I am going to die”, and severe panic attacks, which may be what, drove David Rozga to kill himself.

There has always been the danger of using an untested substitute and assuming that it will respond the same as the substance that it is supposed to imitate. Marijuana causes a phobia that users appear to enjoy, and depending on its grade, the quantity it takes to achieve the desired level of intoxication varies from person to person. The same holds true for using K2 whose potency is 3 to 5 times stronger than marijuana warranting a less amount consumption and new users do not know this. They just assume that smoking the same amount of K2 that they smoke of cannabis the results will be the same.

One of his friends bought the K2 in Des Moines, since no store in Indianola sells it, and shared it with him. They consumed it together, but David was the only one to react so negatively. The purchase price for 3 grams of K2 typically is around the same amount as marijuana, but is legal to possess, not detectable by current tests, apparently has no age restriction and use will probably continue to rise nationally as the banning of K2 continues to spread.

The sad reality of prevention is that most people have not heard of K2 until incidents, as David’s becomes public knowledge or passed on by word of mouth. This incident should prove that not just for public safety, but also for the importance of educating the public on K2 usage, someone should take the time to conduct a study.

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