Frightening news out of California today as the grieving parents of one young man are warning other families about “Spice,” a synthetic form of marijuana that can potentially kill.
Local affiliate KTLA’s Lu Parker exclusively reported that the parents of a 19-year-old California teen who recently died after smoking synthetic marijuana claim their son had one hit off of the dried herbs that ultimately swelled his brain and caused his death.
On July 11, KTLA reported that Connor Eckhardt, a promising young student, inhaled one hit of dried herbs that had been sprayed with chemicals to cause a pot-like high, his parents told KTLA.
“In a moment of peer pressure, he gave into that, thinking that was OK, it was somehow safe, and one hit later, he goes to sleep and never wakes up,” Connor’s father, Devin Eckhardt, said.
Connor Eckhardt reportedly fell asleep, then fell into a coma with his brain swelling, and ultimately dying.
Frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics in the area of addiction is expert Akikur Mohammad, M.D., the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with a second board certification in addiction medicine. In addition to his role as Inspire Malibu’s CEO, Dr. Mohammad is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC where he is active in teaching medical students and residents the subject of addiction medicine and psychiatry.
Dr. Mohammad tells Monsters and Critics, “The harmful effects of ingesting these product can include paranoia, anxiety, heart attacks and seizures, and even death sadly as in Mr. Eckhardt’s situation.”
“Synthetic drugs have become a very real health hazard for drug abusers because no one knows exactly what is in them. They are very strong and they damage both the brain and the body. Users have been known to become psychotic, violent or permanently brain damaged,” Dr. Mohammad added.
“We addiction experts, often times cannot figure out what they have been poisoning themselves with, and the users don’t necessarily know either, these drugs can’t be detected in routing tests which makes the detox and withdrawal process complicated.”