The drug Spice...does it cause permanant brain damage?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by upallnight, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I'll be brief. My cousin is 30, bipolar and became a dug addict, freaked out at work, baker acted at work and has never been the same. She was working for the fedral govt doing some type of accounting code. She was far from her home. In and out for the last 5 years in p-hosps and drug treatment hosps. Usually gone for 3 months and right back in after a few weeks. She collects all kinds of disability and money is not an issue for the family. My aunt is charge of her money. She can't have money because it just goes to drugs.
    My aunt or uncle drive there every day to bring her cigs and food. My cousin is violent at her parents house and is not allowed there ever again. My aunt says my cousin is selling herself for drugs or money to buy them because she is always high and has things they didn't give her money to buy.
    She smokes spice that she buys at the flea market. Now she gets lost in her own apartment trying to find the bathroom. Even when she's straight she's high. 2 nights ago, a stranger called them at 3 am to tell them my cousin was wandering around outside lost. They asked him to call 911. They live 30 minutes away. So yesterday they were looking for another treatment center. I can't get in touch with them. It is very sad, a huge understatement. They are afraid this is permanent. Does anyone have this kind of experience with Spice? She can't live on her own anymore until this goes away.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry about your cousin and this is really sad. I don't know if they know enough about spice to understand if it can cause perm. brain damage. Isn't it sort of new? Also, who knows what else she took besides spice? Can you lace spice with other drugs? I am reallyl clueless about drugs. All I know is a fairly young person is displaying serious symptoms and I feel sad for her and her family.

    If you can, maybe suggest that your aunt and uncle take care of themselves because they need to stay healthy and are obviously getting older and more vulnerable to stress-related health issues. You can't make them do it, but, really, a lot of us, at one time, never thought we could actually enjoy our lives while our children were in was kind of like "Well, he is so miserable that I it's almost wrong to have fun while he suffers." That's how I once felt, but it's dangerous to us. And it doesn't help our grown kids.

    There are Nar-Anon meetings, NAMI for mental health caregiver's help, and maybe therapy for both of them to help them deal with their daughter in the best way possible for all. It is sad that there is nowhere for your cousin to live other than her own apartment...I am not sure you can find group homes if you are violent and use drugs. But your aunt and uncle have done all they can. It's our system and lack of places these mentally ill people can safely reside that socks.

    Hugs to all.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Uan, I doubt that Spice is a major factor in her life. She is ill. She is seriously ill. If she doesn't take Spice she will be using street drugs or drinking alcohol or something else. She no longer is a teenager and at the age of 30 with a long history of multiple treatments her future is precarious, at best. I am sorry.

    on the other hand your Aunt and Uncle are likely senior citizens now and their future seems equally precarious. They have not been able to "detach" and likely don't feel that they can focus on their lives due to her dependency. Do they listen to others in the family? Do they listen to you? If not there is nothing you can do but pray for them all. If so, I do believe that they can change the pattern of involvement fairly easily. As Representative Payees for your cousin they are legally allowed to hire help and that is what I would strongly suggest. In these harsh economic times I am sure that many people would welcome supplemental income for shopping/delivering goods to your cousin on a daily basis OR perhaps four times a week. Honestly their daily trips are loving and well intentioned but in my humble opinion not serving the purpose they have set. I'm sure they believe completely that they are saving her life but it is a proven fact that she is ill AND prepared to do anything necessary to get what she wants. Perhaps (and certainly not assuredly) if she no longer has the comfort of daily visits it "might" change her perspective a bit. Her needs would be met and they would have a chance to enjoy some time with-o the constant stress. Spice is not the problem. Mental illness combined with substance abuse is the problem.....and they really can not make her well or protect her from herself.

    As an "old person" I doubt they will change the pattern they have now. It would be wonderful, however, if they would at least try to attend a few NAMI meetings. My heart goes out to them. Statistically their years of health are limited and scientifically they are shortening the years by living with the daily stress. They will NOT be able to continue this pattern for long and she sadly needs to learn how to get along with-o their daily presence. Sending prayers their way. Hugs DDD
  4. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    As hard as it is to hear, MWM is right, upallnight. Aunt and Uncle have done everything they know to help their niece live safely and with dignity, but she is determined that she wants something else for herself. It is horrifying to know someone we love is choosing to self-destruct.

    I am sorry this is happening to your family.

    Last summer, the city near where we live closed one of those head-shop type stores where they sold alot of spice. They did it because the shop was in the heart of the tourist section, and crime and really strange, scary behaviors near the shop had skyrocketed.


    You might ask on whether spice has been proven to permanently effect the brain.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Spice- like many drugs- can accelerate the onset and severity of schizophrenia. Iirc, it was originally thought to be a more anecdotal connection; because the onset of schizophrenia (early adulthood) coincides with the coming of age when drug use becomes more prevalent. I believe that they have since found out that drug use - including pot - can actually fuel schizophrenia in ppl with- a predisposition and accelerate the severity of the associated psychosis. difficult child's roommate - a prolific pot smoker -had a pyschotic break & was hospitalized at the end of his freshman year in college. difficult child witnessed the break & it was traumatic to him though I have no idea as to the details. (Of course, not traumatic enough for difficult child to be scared straight) The young man did return to school a year later & was difficult child's roommate again and one of the reasons difficult child moved out last year. Apparently, the rx's caused his weight & eating habits to increase dramatically and his energy/activity level to plummet- and it bothered difficult child greatly to see the decline. I think the young man has since dropped out. (Again, it didn't bother difficult child enough to straighten up)

    So I agree, sounds like it's greater than drugs. And the same old chicken & egg- does drug use add to the mental illness or does the illness add to the desire for drugs? I know that there are a lot of dual treatment options and I hope they can find good help for their adult child.
  6. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My aunt and uncle have 3 daughters, this child is the oldest. The youngest 25 is bipolar also, she doesn't do drugs but goes off her medications and is ill quite often. About 6 weeks ago she tried to run my uncle over with her car. She was hospitalized after she did that, because then drove far away crashed the car, landed in the hospital, my aunt said hold her there, but she "escaped" without a car or her purse. The cops found her 24 hours later.She was in the psychiatric hospital after that for a month. They have to get her medication straight. This happens over and over. My aunt and uncle have been dealing with this forever. I'm blood related to my uncle. My aunts mother and 2 sisters were bipolar as well. They retired many years ago and take care of these girls as their full time jobs. They are terrific advocates for these girls. But it's still sad.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is a very sad story. The only experience I have with spice is from parents in my support group. They tell me spice can make their difficult children hallucinate and become very belligerent.