Even the addicts say the worst experiences they've ever had with drugs have been the ones they've had with K2.
"Jenny S." asked that her last name not be used for this story. She's a recovering addict. She's used K2. "I know of friends that are addicted to it," she said. "And they can't stop even though they want to -- and they didn't even think they were going to get addicted to it and now they are."
A mother of a K2 addict, who also didn't want her name used, told a 7News digital journalist what her son told her about the synthetic marijuana, sold as "potpourri" or "incense." She said her son told her, "...it makes you feel like you're really panicky and like you're going to die and which I couldn't understand. I said, 'Then why would you do it?' He said, 'Because you can't stop once you start' as he was crying looking at me saying, 'I can't stop this K2.'"
Back in February 2012, emergency medical professionals came to Ohio Valley Medical Center to learn how to treat a synthetic drug addict in a life-threatening emergency. Addicts say, after the emergency -- after accepting responsibility -- lasting recovery requires support from others.
Andrew Vdovjak used to have a cocaine addiction. Over some coffee at The Unity Center, he explained his experience going to chapter meetings of Narcotics Anonymous has helped him stay clean. His words tumble out.
"When I started coming to the meetings and heard -- started getting involved with the kinship of NA -- started hearing people around me talk of the recovering addicts. And I realized that some of their stuff was similar to what, maybe not exactly the same, but similar to the same situations and same places that I had gone through," Andrew said.
"Jenny S." lost everything she had due to her drug addiction. Her car, her house, her possessions. In her case, help from family got her clean.
"This disease is a family disease, and it affects everyone. Manipulation -- the lying, the thieving -- the everything that you do to get your drug, it really can mess with your family," she said. "And I know I hurt my family in a big way."
Both Andrew and Jenny view their family support and forgiveness as key to breaking the chains of addiction, and staying clean.