Pine Grove Next Step director: long-term spice use dangerous, un - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Grove Next Step director: long-term spice use dangerous, unpredictable

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The head of a Hattiesburg-based drug treatment program is warning about the dangers of long-term use of the synthetic marijuana known as "spice."

It's an unsafe mix of plant products and chemicals that has powerful effects on the body and mind.

"Long term, the psychiatric issues is that (the user) doesn't really comprehend well, they can be very irritable, volatile, when you're dealing with them," said Issac Boose, director of the Next Step program at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services.

Boose, whose program helps men ages 18-55, said people who use spice are also usually using other drugs and don't consider it to be addictive.  

"There's really not a basic treatment process for (spice)," said Boose. "You're just hoping that the person gets better by giving them medication to correct the psychiatric issues," he said.    

He added, "it's really difficult to have someone who has just used spice in a facility like (Pine Grove). They usually have to check into a psychiatric facility to try to get stabilized, before they can even move on to any type of treatment," he said.

In the last three weeks, there have been more than 400 reports of spice-related emergency room visits across the state.

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