Missing teen has known addiction to smoking spice - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Missing teen has known addiction to smoking spice

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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A teen missing for a week has a mother worried, but it is more than his disappearance concerning her.

Wishing to go by her first name, Tammy reached out to WMBF News for help with finding her son. She says he is strongly addicted to smoking spice: a type of synthetic marijuana that she says makes him suicidal.

Over the last week, Tammy has gotten text messages from unknown numbers hinting at her son's whereabouts.

She says he hopes he is somewhere the fake weed isn't legal.

"He was very funny, had a loving personality," says Tammy, the mother of the missing teen.

Tammy speaks in the past tense when remembering the positives of her son, Jacob's, personality. "He quickly went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr.Hyde," she recalls.

Around three years ago, Tammy says Jacob's attitude started changing. "He started getting suicidal, I started getting concerned," she says.

Not smelling alcohol or marijuana on her son, Tammy started noticing small silver packages in his room. At first, she thought they were incense. "Well, I used to burn incense when I was a teenager, you know, I didn't think it was anything dangerous," she admits.

She discovered her son was actually smoking spice, a synthetic marijuana that used to be freely sold on shelves labeled as incense or even plant food.

Horry County Councilman Marion Foxworth says recently the law changed, banning the substance in Horry County.

"We have been trying to regulate it, but it was difficult without a state-wide ban," says Foxworth. "Now, in South Carolina it is not supposed to be sold in our stores." 

Councilman Foxworth explains it is hard to determine and define exactly what the synthetic substance is. "They can alter it just slightly and get it back on the shelves, making it near impossible to define it," he says.

He says they are working at a local level to crack down on it.

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