The use of designer drugs is becoming increasingly common. As such, abuse of these drugs is also on the rise. Designer drugs are sold legally, typically under the guise of being safer than other street drugs. However, the truth is that these designer drugs are frequently more addictive and dangerous. New designer drugs are made often and circulate through communities, leading to the deaths of many users. If you are struggling with addiction to designer drugs, seek treatment as soon as possible.
What Are Designer Drugs?
Designer drugs are synthetic alternatives to other drugs that are made by changing or copying parts of an already existing substance. They are different from the drugs they are meant to mimic, and as such, are more dangerous and unpredictable. Designer drugs are usually manmade in illegal labs with the intention of increasing a drug’s potency and minimizing side effects. These drugs are mainly intended to emulate the effects of marijuana, heroin and cocaine. Any use of designer drugs is dangerous and possibly life-threatening.
Are Synthetic Drugs Legal?
While the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act made it illegal to sell or make synthetic substances that mimic cannabinoids, along with many synthetic hallucinogens, the door is still open for labs that make synthetic drugs to change compounds or produce a substance that isn’t technically illegal. For young adults and teens, designer drugs can be especially harmful, as they may falsely believe a substance that is legal is safe to use.
Types of Designer and Synthetic Drugs
There are three different categories of designer drugs:
- Synthetic stimulants: These drugs mimic the effects of stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. These designer drugs cause numerous severe or dangerous side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, hallucinations, nightmares, chest pains, stomach issues and violent behavior.
- Synthetic cannabinoids: These drugs are commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana. This label is misleading, as these drugs are more potent and unpredictable than marijuana. Toxic chemicals are mixed with plant matter and can have severe side effects, such as paranoia, hallucinations, nausea, racing heartbeat and suicidal ideation.
- Synthetic hallucinogens: These drugs mimic the effects of hallucinogens like MDMA, giving the user a sense of euphoria. These drugs can also cause seizures, aggression, hypertension and violent behavior.
Common Synthetic Drug Names
Synthetic drugs may circulate under the following street names:
- Bath salts
- Monkey dust
- Aphrodisiac tea
- Black mamba
How Are Designer Drugs Taken?
Synthetic stimulants are often smoked or inhaled, though they can also be ingested. Synthetic cannabinoids are smoked or ingested. Synthetic hallucinogens can be smoked, snorted, swallowed, injected or inhaled.
Health Risks of Taking Designer Drugs
What are the long term risks of designer drugs? Using synthetic drugs can lead to dangerous health effects like:
- Increased blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Blurred vision
- Increased heart rate
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
If these drugs are so dangerous, why do people use hallucinogens and designer drugs? Many are led to believe these drugs are safe, but the truth is that these drugs are not regulated. There’s no way to know what’s in them until it’s too late.
Treatment for Designer Drugs
Addiction to designer drugs likely requires assistance from a drug addiction treatment facility. Through 50 years of service, Gateway Foundation has helped millions struggling with addiction find recovery. We will do everything we can to help you on your path to recovery, offering services that range from cognitive behavior therapy to medication-assisted treatment and beyond. Contact us today to get started.