Addicted to Spice and Looking for Help

By Megan Trent

March 22, 2012 Updated Mar 23, 2012 at 8:39 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A bill that bans making or selling synthetic drugs like K2 and spice in the Hoosier state was recently signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels, but for some people addiction to these once easily accessible drugs has already taken over their lives.

Indiana's NewsCenter sat down with one woman who says she was addicted to spice, but she didn't get the help she wanted.

Once sold openly in gas stations and tobacco shops, spice provided users with a powerful high.

A Fort Wayne resident we'll call Jane (to protect her identity) says, “It just grabbed a hold of me and I had to have it all the time. If I didn’t have it, I was crying. I was sick. My stomach was hurting. I was throwing up. I just had to keep doing it so I wouldn’t be like that.”

Jane says she wanted to stop using spice for her family. That’s when she went to Parkview Hospital’s Randallia campus emergency room to seek treatment.

“The doctor and nurse that evaluated me said that I do have a substance abuse problem. They could see that I was addicted, and they said they couldn’t admit me because they didn’t know how to treat it. I said, 'How could this be outlawed and you can’t treat it when it’s a chemical dependency problem?' I said, 'What if I go home and die?'”

Jane did get a referral to Park Center for an appointment. “Part of me felt like I had already given up on myself, and then there’s people out there that’s supposed to be set up to help you and they gave up on me.”

Parkview can’t legally discuss the specifics of patient cases, but a spokesperson for the hospital says there are protocols in place for addiction, including being evaluated by a physician and behavioral health staff.

Officials say counseling and therapy are the most common forms of treatment and inpatient care would only be recommended for patients whose lives are in danger and are in need of constant care. They say each individual’s needs are identified and appropriate recommendations are made.

Jane plans to go to her Park Center appointment, but says she wants a change in the health care community. “Even though they don’t know much about it – educate themselves. Find out something about it - more about it. I know that takes more time and energy out of people’s lives that they don’t really have, but there are more people like me all over.”

Parkview, however, says they are committed to providing excellent care to any patient in need of medical attention.

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