Jul 3, 2011 3:57 PM by David Ortiviz
Drug rehabilitation counselors want parents to know about a dangerous substance their children may be experimenting with: herbal incense. Counselors say so called fake pot products are highly addictive and could be more dangerous than real marijuana.
We found video on YouTube showing a teenager smoking incense to get high. "It's the exact replica of weed," said the boy. "15, I repeat 15 times stronger than THC," he added.
The label on the product warns "not for human consumption"--and the products are marketed as aromatic incense. However authorities say teenagers are using it as a drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration has temporarily banned these products calling them a clear pretense for unlawful activity. Under the federal ban it's illegal to sell or possess these products. However, if you look hard enough, they're still being sold at some stores.
The DEA says the fake pot products are sold under a variety of names "K2," "Spice," and "Blaze," Ray Moore who manages the Bridge to Awareness Counseling center in Pueblo says some are also called "Mr. Smiley," "Colorado Chronic," and "Black Momba."
Moore says a growing number of teens at the counseling center have admitted trying it. "This year we've seen a large increase in them self reporting the use of this synthetic marijuana," said Moore.
Moore says smoking these products can cause psychotic breakdowns and aggressive behavior. He also says it's highly addictive. Listen to how one drug user described it to him. "His time in the legal system has been for meth and cocaine and he said this product was harder to get off of than those," said Moore.
Moore says the incense contains dangerous chemicals. "Fertilizer additives and thing like that, so we don't have any idea yet, the extreme effects of this stuff," said Moore.
So he urges parents--look for the warning signs--and seek help. "Say this is what I'm seeing, what should I do, because addiction is a disease," said Moore.