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It's not quite the Manchurian Candidate, but a staff psychiatrist at the Naval Medical Center here has gone public with graphic accounts of local sailors and Marines who've blown their minds on "spice," otherwise known as synthetic cannabis.

Third-year resident Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) David Hurst, told Navy Times that patients brought to the hospital exhibited "anxiety, depression, paranoia and hallucinations...[including] seeing 'ghosts' and hearing voices."

“They were all very paranoid that the government was after them, their parents, their commands ... with fixed delusions,” Hurst recounted. Some saw "actual people in front of them that weren’t there.” They also wore flat expressions, “a hallmark of psychosis."

According to an American Psychiatric Association news release, "The ten patients studied ranged in age from 21 to 25 years old and after use of “Spice” experienced ongoing psychotic symptoms, including auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoid delusions, odd or flat affect, thought blocking, disorganized speech, thoughts of suicide, insomnia, slowed reaction times, agitation and anxiety.

"Psychotic symptoms generally resolved between five and eight days after admission, but in some cases continued three months or longer."

Hurst presented his results at last month's annual association meeting in Hawaii.

The APA release is here:


Today's Navy Times story:


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