Deadly Spice


Spice. No, not what you have in your kitchen cabinet. It is the new drug in Russia that has resulted in 700 hospitalizations in just several months. The drug is made by “spraying marijuana-mimicking designer drugs on innocuous herbs.” It is cheap, powerful, and ubiquitous. Vice News spoke with some spice users, and learned that the drug attracts predominantly younger users. The effects of spice are short-lived, yet exciting for the user. The article describes what occurred after a user named Ilya lit a spice cigarette.

What immediately followed was 15 minutes of disorientation and disembodiment, like getting dead drunk and losing control over your speech and movements.

Ilya died two years after this night due to an overdose of vodka, heroin, and spice. The effects of spice are severe, and the article tells of a teenage boy who smoked some spice on a riverbank, became ill, fell into the river, and drowned. The drug is taking Russia by storm. Russian law enforcement has increased its efforts to stop the smuggling of spice into the country and to identify and arrest spice dealers and users. Russia’s media has blamed Ukraine for smuggling the drug into the Kremlin, an act that will surely intensify relations between the two neighboring countries.

I find this article to be important because its raises awareness of a seriously addictive drug. This drug probably has a small presence in the United States, but not to the effect of the drug’s presence in Russia. If this drug becomes easily accessible in the United States, there will be an issue. I think that major news outlets have not discussed this issue because it appears far-removed from American society. But I believe that news of this drug and its potentially deadly side effects should be spread throughout America. Raising awareness is crucial, and I applaud Vice News for its coverage of spice.

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7 responses to “Deadly Spice

  1. Any drug or illness that is deadly should be made aware of to the public; not just in the country where it is happening, but everywhere. People need to know what is going around so they know how to avoid it. I was in Russia this past summer and I had no idea about spice. I know kids who were smoking cigarettes with some of the local Russians and I thought nothing of it. What if one of the cigarettes was not actually a cigarette? If I knew about spice I could have been more cautious and tried to avoid any type of bad situation.

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  2. I am afraid that this situation is likely not limited to only Russia. Food and drug hazards often go undiagnosed and unpublicized until it is a widespread issue. Is there any way to detect warning signs of a national or international epidemic before it occurs?

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  3. I think this idea of producing a synthetic drug can be related to our discussions today in class about food production. Many of the technologies that people are using are causing major health concerns to others. In this case, people created a drug that is killing people, and in the case of food production, people are adding so many engineered ingredients what cause problems like diabetes.

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