How to avoid becoming a K2 Zombie in DC

Fake weed causes extreme anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, alienation/disassociation, psychotic episodes and hallucinations. This behavior has been labeled the “zombie” effect- and it’s serious.

In fact, (SAMHSA), and  (DAWN) reported there were nearly 12,000 emergency room visits nationally resulting from fake weed use. The majority of those victims were aged 12 to 29.

The D.C. Prevention Center reports that K2/Spice or fake weed use among youth has increased significantly since 2008. The average age of a fake weed user in DC is 13½ years old.

This survival guide includes the information you need to avoid becoming a K2 Zombie so you can live a happy, healthy life in DC.


Know the Warning Signs

You may become a K2 Zombie, or come in contact with a K2 Zombie if you or someone you know uses fake weed, the herbal mixture that contains dried, shredded plant material and harmful chemical additives. These additives are extremely harmful and unsafe for people to consume or ingest by smoking, drinking or eating, although many users smoke it like marijuana.


Symptoms of a K2 Zombie

In addition to the “zombie effect” symptoms , the harmful chemicals in fake weed also cause rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, tremors and seizures, which often send users to the emergency room for treatment.


Beware of the K2 Zombie Trap

Manufacturers use tricks to make you think otherwise- by selling fake weed in plastic pouches decorated with colorful designs.

Manufacturers also place “not for human consumption” labels on fake weed products, even though they know that fake weed is usually smoked as a joint and that youth are purchasing it because they believe it is harmless and can get it easily.

Don’t fall for it.

Avoid these packages at tobacco and smoke shops, drug paraphernalia shops, gas station, convenience stores or online.

Stay Safe

1. Seek facts. There is lots of information about fake weed or K2/Spice. Use trusted resources, like the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

2. Ask questions. If you don’t understand something or need clarity about fake weed, just ask. Again, use trusted resources, like a school counselor, family members or your doctor.

3. Observe closely. You might see someone using fake weed at a party or after school. Notice how they behave or look then or even sometime later.

4. Listen intently. If someone is encouraging you to try fake weed, what reasons are they giving you to make it sound like a positive choice? What did or didn’t they say about using K2? If someone is encouraging you to stay away from fake weed or K2/Spice, how does the advice match with the facts that you’ve learned?

5. Embrace truths. When you have facts and you see or hear about the effects of K2/Spice, consider that these descriptions or accounts may not be flukes or coincidence.

6. Weigh options. If someone offers you fake weed, or you are thinking about trying it, what are reasons that you should turn it down? What are you risking? What are possible consequences? What other, more positive things or activities can you do?

7. Act accordingly. You are armed with facts about fake weed. Make smart, informed decisions.



Things you’ll need

  • Access to for facts and information
  • Parents and other caring adults


K2 Zombie First Aid

If you or someone you know is using fake weed, you can take these steps to avoid becoming a zombie:

  • Stop using fake weed. Whether you feel the effects or not, fake weed may cause severe side effects to your body and brain. Fake weed is stored in the body long term and negative health effects could occur a time period after use.
  • Seek medical attention at the emergency room if you have used fake weed and feel side effects, such as rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, vomiting, seizures, loss of consciousness, extreme anxiety, paranoia, psychotic episodes or hallucinations.
  • Throw out any additional packages of fake weed you have in your possession.



DC Shelter Locations

DC Prevention Centers throughout the city have the resources to prevent and reverse the transformation of a K2 Zombie. If you or a friend is looking for information and facts or other advice about fake weed, you can visit the DC Prevention Centers online at or by using the contact information below:


WARDS 1 & 2

1419 Columbia Road Northwest

Washington, DC 20009

(202) 319-2225


WARDS 3 & 4

5335 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest,

Suite 440, Washington DC 20015

(202) 686-4850


WARDS 5 & 6

1022 Maryland Avenue, NE,

Washington, DC 20002

(202) 543-5796


WARDS 7 & 8

3939 Benning Road, N.E.

Washington, D.C. 20019

(202) 388-3001


Stay Informed

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