My experience with K2 has honestly changed my whole perception on life. I want to be a voice which educates people on the side effects and state of mind you could be left in and an insight for those who have shared similar experiences.
When I experienced my ordeal I went online in search for answers, curious to know if anyone else had gone through what I had. However I found barley anything apart from what K2 actually was, but all I wanted was someone to relate too before I declared my absolute insanity.
Long after my incident I found a small number of people I could relate too, through the media I saw some cases, which were more extreme whereas others were mild but it did comfort me knowing I wasn’t alone.
I want to advocate that as teens we’re not invincible, although feelings may arise when you’re with your friends-but at the end of the day we are individuals and we do react to substances differently. I feel safest when I’m with my friends, but when I reacted to K2 no one was able to help me, not that they weren’t physically helping, but I felt completely alone and confused.
So what is K2?
K2 is synthetic marijuana in which herbs, incense or other leafy materials are sprayed with chemicals to mimic the effect of marijuana. K2 can make you experience any of the following –
• Hypertonia (increased rigidity, tension or spasticity of the muscles)
• Heart palpation
The night I had a wake up call.
Picture this: you’re at a gathering with your friends - there are drinks, alcohol and a bunch of teenagers clowning around. Everyone has had a few drinks and you’ve heard through the grape vine that some people are smoking something you haven’t heard of before, so you join them.
My friends had a joint that was being passed around the circle; I think I had about three puffs and from there was when my night went down hill. (Naturally I’m a paranoid person, so I am sure that me doing drugs was a bad idea in the first place.) I remember all of my friend’s noticing that something wasn’t right. They were all trying to settle me but that only made it worse- I felt like everyone’s voices were echoing, like I was watching TV almost. Although they were trying to help, I felt as though I was sitting behind a glass screen watching all of it happen. Then I started to notice my hands almost ticking. I couldn’t stop moving them! My body started to go numb and I felt like I was looking into a black hole and memories were flashing by me, I remember I kept saying to myself “you aren’t going to die, just pull through it”. After this I went to bed, woke up the next day still not feeling completely there but I was all right.
After time went on the numb feeling I experienced began again at the most random times. There were days that I didn’t want to move because I was purely scared. I spoke to my Mum about it and she took me to the doctor. He told me it was “all in my head” and that I just had to get over it. My Mum and I honestly thought there was more to it, so she took me to our family doctor. Our family doctor knew that something just wasn’t right and referred me to a psychologist where it all began to make sense.
After a couple of sessions she explained to me that I am in the early stages of psychosis. Some of the changes seen during this phase include:
• Changes in affect such as anxiety, irritability and depression
• Changes in cognition such as difficulty in concentration or memory
• Changes in thought content, such as a preoccupation with new ideas often of a unusual nature
• Physical changes such as sleep disturbance and loss of energy
• Social withdrawal and impairment of role functioning, which can include deterioration in school or work performance
My psychologist (who was absolutely amazing by the way) explained to me that there’s actually something in my brain that almost ticks over when I’m either tired or anxious, that’s why still to this day my body goes numb. That’s the simplest way to explain it. But she did explain to me that there are ways to help it occur a lot less, such as:
• Exercise! It doesn’t help the “numbness” as much, but it releases good endorphins in your brain, which mean less anxiety/depression.
• Find thing’s to occupy your mind eg. If you like reading.. read!
• Try not to loner yourself, your brain starts running which can create depression/anxiety. Go to the shops and surround yourself with people – it helps, trust me.
• Sounds odd- but if you are feeling numb get somebody to squeeze your hands, it works wonders.
At a young age we are prone to venerability due to peer pressure, whether it’s others forcing the drug down our throat or the fear of missing out. Not at any stage was I pressured physically to do K2 but mentally I felt I had to be included. If you're thinking of trying K2 or any drug please just keep in mind that you could be apart of the minority that aren't so lucky, and if you are going to try it for the first time please do it in a safe environment and around people you trust.
If you've had an odd experience with drugs, or are considering trying it please don't be afraid to talk to me. I'm no doctor, but I hated feeling alone after my experience and I honestly wish I knew more about it before I tried it.