February 2019: synthetic drug Addiction
Designer drugs is a term to describe manufactured or synthetic drugs that are designed and created in a laboratory. Given that they are not natural, but manufactured, designer drugs are often referred to as synthetic drugs. These drugs have largely sprang up to legally traffic in altered versions of illegal drugs. Manufacturers get around the laws by altering the drug in such a way that it’s not classified as an illegal substance and labeling these drugs as “not for human consumption” which avoids drug and health laws. There’s been an ongoing struggle back and forth between legislatures looking to curb the use of these drugs, and the manufacturers changing their formulas enough to avoid existing laws.
There has been a recent significant increase in both the use and amount of designer drugs available. Between 2009 and 2014, the DEA identified between 200 and 300 new designers drugs from eight different structural classes, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China. The most common of these drugs are synthetic cannabis (spice & K2) and synthetic cathinones (bath salts).
Designer drugs have become most popular with college age individuals and prevalent in the party and rave scenes.
Dangers of Designer Drugs
These lab concocted drugs can be incredibly dangers. In 2011 the Drug Abuse Warning Network reported more than 55,000 ER visits related to designer drugs. Common designer drugs include: Spice and K2, Fentanyl, bath salts, MDMA (ecstasy), and LSD. Each of these drugs can carry psychological dependence and alter the brain.
Since designer drugs are unregulated, they exact chemicals in each of them aren’t always known. They can be laced with toxic poisons, which happened in Illinois with synthetic cannabinoids, or other toxic substances.
There are hundreds of designer drugs on the market and they can carry significant long-term risks to body and health. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to a designer drug, it’s important to get help. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options that are available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are designer drugs?
Designer drugs, also known as synthetic drugs, is a term to describe manufactured drugs that are designed to circumvent laws around illegal drugs. Given that they are not natural, but manufactured, they designer drugs are often referred to as synthetic drugs.
Between 2009 and 2014, the DEA identified between 200 and 300 new designers drugs from eight different structural classes, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China. The most common of these drugs are synthetic cannabis (spice & K2) and synthetic cathinones (bath salts).
What is spice?
Spice and K2 are the more popular versions of synthetic cannabinoids, which get its name for using chemicals similar to those found in marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids affect the same brain receptors as THC, the mind altering ingredient in marijuana. It’s difficult to predict the exact effect spice or K2 may have on the body as it’s unregulated and the chemical composition may change.
What are bath salts?
Bath Salts is the name given to synthetic cathinones, a manufactured drug similar to amphetamines such as meth and MDMA. They are usually found as white or brown crystals, but shouldn’t be confused with Epson salts (actual bath salts that people add to their bath to relax). Manufacturers get around health laws by branding the drug not for human consumption, although when abused, they are generally snorted, injected, or swallowed.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is incredibly powerful and dangerous. While similar to morphine, it is 50 to 100 times more powerful. A schedule II prescription drug, Fentanyl is classified as having a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.
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