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Text Description of Infographic

Since bursting on the scene a few years ago, synthetic marijuana (MJ)—often called “Spice” or “K2”—has become the second most popular illegal drug among American teenagers, after MJ. It is especially popular among teenage boys. Sometimes touted as a “natural,” “safe,” and (until recently) legal alternative to pot, this very un-natural class of designer chemicals has shown itself to be a dangerous threat. Thousands of teens and young adults, mostly young males, are ending up in emergency rooms with severe symptoms that may include vomiting, racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, seizures, or hallucinations.

Top graphic (male, female symbols): By gender, 14% of male and 8% of female high school seniors abused synthetic marijuana.

How Many Teens Are Using Synthetic MJ?

  • In 2012, 11% of American high school seniors used synthetic marijuana in the past year.1

11,406 ER Visits In 2010 Were Associated With Synthetic MJ.2

  • 75% were among adolescents and young adults ages 12-29
  • 22.5% of these visits involved females, and 77.5% involved males


1. Monitoring the Future Survey, 2012; 2. Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2012

Page last updated February 2013