By: Cmdr. Lisa McWhorter, Director, Laboratory Services, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center
In today’s high technology environment, young Sailors and Marines are constantly bombarded with information from a multitude of sources; iPads, iPhones, Tweets, Facebook, YouTube, you name it. Peer pressure to experiment with “fake pot” known as Spice products or designer drugs to “look cool and get high”, is always present. One message that each Sailor and Marine must hear and take heed is what these designer drugs can do to them; from loss of a naval career to vast array of medical and mental problems. Zero tolerance to the use of illicit drug products will end your career and produce short and potentially long-term health issues.
Imagine smoking K2 Spice or Ivory Wave Bath Salts, feeling really high or full of energy. “So man let’s do more since this stuff is awesome!” Then afterwards, as you’re coming down, you feel like you’re being watched from someone outside the window, or your heart is really racing, or you start shaking uncontrollably, and you can’t get away from all the bad guys after you … or you just shutdown.
This could very well happen since the underground manufacturers of spice and designer chemical compounds have no regard for your safety or quality of the end products. There is no oversight of where these compounds are made, what contaminants are in them and how much of the chemical compounds you are receiving when you light up. More is definitely not better when it comes to smoking fake pot or bath salts. The packages do say “Not for Human Consumption” and this I agree with. Otherwise, you could very well end up in the ER or worse.
Lastly, I would encourage Navy leaders to continue to work as a team to support our deckplate Sailors and Marines with the real truth on what are the medical and career-ending effects of any illicit drug use, even though their “buddies” may try to tell them otherwise. Stressing alternatives to drug use and even abusive drinking, starts at the top and should be emphasized throughout the command so that every Sailor and Marine makes an informed, responsible decision of how to spend their off-duty time. Remember we all have to look out for our shipmates and deter even the idea to experiment with these new, tempting designer drug products. For more information please go to: http://www.nmcphc.med.navy.mil/ and at the bottom of the webpage, click on the button “Designer Drugs- Adverse Effects of Spice and Bath Salts”.