The concept of designer drugs is not new. They have existed for decades but continue to evolve. These illegal drugs are derived from plant-based substances such as cocaine, marijuana, or morphine and are often mixed with other materials. One of the challenges of combating designer drug use is that these drugs are sometimes marketed and sold under the guise of more common products. They could be labeled as bath salts, plant food, or spice. Those who know what they are looking for are able to identify the illegal use of these products.

Designer drugs include:

  • LSD
  • Ketamine
  • Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamines
  • K-2
  • Bromo Dragonfly
  • 2C-I, 2C-E, 2C-P
  • Salvia

One major danger of these drugs is that they are created in illegal or secret laboratories that are not regulated. Some people produce them in their homes. Because they are synthetic productions of other drugs and can be mixed with a wide range of substances, the contents may vary greatly. Professionals treating patients who have taken designer drugs cannot necessarily tell the exact make-up of the substance, making it more difficult to effectively treat the effects. Also, users may not be aware of the strength of what they are taking.

Why Designer Drugs are Popular

Many people take designer drugs for the higher high and increased psychedelic effects that they produce. These synthetic drugs are often much stronger than the original substances that they are derived from. They stimulate a range of effects from increased relaxation and tiredness to exhilaration and decreased appetite.

While people may be drawn to the immediate effect, they should not overlook the dangers of taking these drugs. There are many physical and psychological effects that can accompany them as well. These may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts
  • Anxiety
  • Death

Combating Designer Drug Use

Policymakers are working to create legislation banning dangerous synthetic drugs and making many illegal. Physicians are tasked with more closely monitoring patients on medications that could be abused or used to create designer drugs. The DEA is developing more advanced methods for detecting these substances and identifying illegal laboratories where they are created. The fight against these potent drugs requires a collaborative effort from many different parties.

It is important that people become educated about the dangers of designer drugs and recognize the various names that they go by. Because they are not regulated, there is a great deal that is unknown about them. Each batch could be produced differently and contain varying amounts of synthetic substances. The risk of overdosing can be high and it is difficult to determine the exact effect that the drug will have.

Seeking Help

Through medically assisted detox and comprehensive treatment, people can overcome their addiction to these substances. It is important to seek out a treatment center that is able to handle these types of addictions and understands the complexities of designer drugs. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol use, contact Chapters Capistrano today to learn more about how we can help you turn your life around. It is never too soon to seek help and make a positive change that could save your life.

Medical disclaimer:

Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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