There’s a new, dangerous drug that people are using to get high, and it’s legally available in head shops and convenience stores everywhere. This substance is herbal incense, and it often goes by brand names such as K2 or spice. While the incense produces a high similar to the effects of marijuana, it’s far more dangerous. Here is the story of one man, JB, who got addicted to smoking herbal incense and nearly ruined his life before finally quitting the habit with rehab.
How It Started
JB started smoking herbal incense because it was fun, easy and legal. Smoking the incense made him feel great, and all he had to do to maintain his supply was spend 20 bucks a day at a local convenience store. Before long, however, he was spending close to 80 dollars a day, and he had become a slave to the incense.
A Powerful Addiction
Smoking incense became JB’s life. All he thought about was when he’d be able to smoke next, and he started to pawn his possessions to get money to buy more. He says that this was around the time he began to realize he had a problem, but it didn’t matter–he had become a slave to the incense. If he and his wife went out, even with their kids, he would bring incense and make an excuse to go smoke some before joining them. Eventually, he lost all interest in going anywhere with his family, because staying home meant he could smoke as much incense as he liked.
At his worst, JB says he would desperately scrape his pipes for incense resin or comb through old baggies looking for stray crumbs. He had sold his belongings, so he began stealing his family’s things and pawning them. When he didn’t have incense to smoke, he became irritable and would argue with his wife for no reason. He blamed her for being stingy or trying to control him when she wouldn’t lend him any more money, even though she was trying to pay their rent. When he ran out of incense money for an extended period, JB was constantly nauseous, had sweating episodes and lost 40 pounds. It was at this point that he finally realized that the incense was slowly killing him and decided to quit.
Embarrassed to ask for help, JB started googling herbal incense, and he was shocked to find hundreds of personal stories that were shockingly similar to his. All of these people had gotten addicted to incense just like JB, but many of them had managed to quit. Heartened by the success stories he found online, he took some of these strangers’ advice and created a four-step program to help himself quit:
- Throw away all pipes and other smoking paraphernalia
- Keep away from stores that sell incense
- Find hobbies to stay distracted
- Find an addiction support program
Relapse and Eventual Success
The reason that JB relapsed several times is that he started following the first three steps of his program, but not the crucial fourth. It wasn’t until he joined an incense addiction support program that he was finally able to quit. It was hard for him to get through the relapse period, and he admits that his relationship with his wife isn’t as strong as it was before his three years of addiction. But now JB has a great relationship with his kids, is once again an active member of society, and he has his life back on track.