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What are the signs and symptoms of Spice addiction?

Spice addiction is associated with a broad range of psychological, behavioural, social, and physical symptoms, all of which can have an extremely disruptive impact on an individual’s wellbeing and quality of life. The type of symptoms that you experience may vary from person to person, and also depends on how much Spice you have been consuming and the frequency of your Spice misuse.

At Priory, we are able to offer expert, evidence-based treatment for anyone who is struggling with Spice addiction. Our specialist team of addiction treatment professionals are dedicated to helping you to overcome your addiction to Spice, and resume the healthy, fulfilling and addiction-free life that you deserve.

The following are all signs that you, or someone that you know, may have a dangerous Spice addiction.

Psychological symptoms of Spice addiction can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Euphoria
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia and confusion
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Reduction in decision-making abilities
  • Experiencing a distorted sense of reality and perception, entering a trance-like state or feeling detached from the world
  • Lacking memory of long periods of time whilst intoxicated
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Consuming Spice in order to relieve stress
  • Worsening of any existing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress
  • Noticeable changes in personality
  • Experiencing feelings of shame and guilt regarding your Spice use
  • Suicidal thoughts
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Behavioural and social symptoms of Spice addiction can include:

  • Changes in behaviour and increasingly erratic, violent or risky behaviour
  • Obtaining and using Spice becomes your main priority
  • Inability to stop thinking about when, where and how you will obtain your next Spice fix, and feeling as though this has taken over your life
  • Feeling as though you want to stop taking Spice, but finding that you are unable to
  • Being dishonest, defensive and secretive about your Spice use
  • Avoiding contact with family and friends, leading to relationship problems and social isolation
  • Only associating with other Spice addicts
  • Neglecting your responsibilities, and being unable to function effectively in day-to-day life
  • Being unable to perform well at work/hold down a job due to your Spice use
  • Continuing to take Spice even after suffering negative consequences as a result of this
  • Becoming unconcerned with your physical appearance and personal hygiene

Physical symptoms of Spice addiction can include:

  • The appearance of withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking or are unable to obtain Spice
  • Finding that you have built a tolerance to Spice, meaning that you need to consume this in increasingly higher doses in order to experience the desired effects
  • Intense cravings for Spice
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Reduced cough reflex, increasing the likelihood of choking
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased, erratic heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Slurred and slow speech or erratic mumbling
  • High body temperature
  • Problems with motor co-ordination
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, including vivid nightmares and insomnia
  • Blackouts
  • Unconsciousness and coma
  • Fatal overdose

This page was clinically reviewed by Claire Rimmer (BA (Hons), FDAP), Lead Addictions Therapist, in November 2021.

What are the long-term effects of Spice addiction?
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Spice withdrawal symptoms
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