Designer drugs, or synthetic drugs, are human-made substances that imitate naturally-occurring, mind-altering drugs like marijuana. Research into the dangers and effects of designer drugs is ongoing, but we already know that synthetic substance abuse is associated with severe consequences.
It would be best if you tried to learn more about designer drug abuse and how it can affect a person. If you or your loved one is battling designer drug addiction, you can find help at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston by calling 866.516.8356.
Overview of Designer Drugs
Designer drugs mimic commonly-abused drugs like cocaine, opioids, or marijuana. However, they are created in unregulated settings/labs, which adds to the risks associated with using them.
Currently, there are over 200 known synthetic drugs. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way for legal or pharmaceutical experts to ascertain the chemical composition of the drugs. Most are lab-created cannabinoids made in China, but some originate from other countries. Dealers then smuggle them into the USA or bring them in using non-descript packages disguised as other substances.
In 2012, President Obama signed a law to classify 26 designer drugs as Schedule I controlled substances. However, manufacturers still circumvent these laws by experimenting with different legal compounds to make synthetic drug mixtures. It is challenging to track the number of designer drugs in circulation, but these are the most common:
- PCP (Love Boat/Angel Dust)
- Synthetic marijuana (Spice/K2)
- MDMA (Molly, Ecstasy)
- Ketamine (Cat Valium/Special K)
- GHB (Goop, G, Liquid Ecstasy)
- Bath salts (Flakka, Bloom, Vanilla Sky)
Despite misleading designations, the government doesn’t regulate these drugs, and it does not subject them to safety testing procedures. The short-term and long term effects of designer drugs are severe, and there is much more to learn before definitive conclusions of safety can be made.
Short-Term Effects of Designer Drugs
The real danger in the effects of designer drugs lies in the fact that many of its ingredients are unknown. Most have toxic contaminants or ingredients that contaminate the final product, and nobody cares because there is no regulation.
Known short-term effects of designer drug abuse include psychological symptoms like
- Panic attacks
- Irrational behaviors
Physical dangers include increased body temperature, nausea and vomiting, dehydration, kidney and heart failure, tachycardia, tremors, seizures, comas, and even death.
Long-Term Effects of Designer Drug Use
Many designer drugs are new, and they continue to evolve to escape legal ramifications of chronic use. As a result, it isn’t easy to ascertain the effect of long-term use. However, every time you use synthetic drugs, you run the risk of short-term effects that could have long-term consequences.
For instance, hallucinations and paranoia can lead to unpredictable behaviors, including the danger of self-harm or injury to others. Designer drugs make depression and anxiety worse, leading the user down the path towards suicide attempts. Seizures and comas can lead to permanent brain damage and death.
Overindulgence or chronic usage of designer drugs can damage the liver, heart, and kidneys, and all these can be permanent or even fatal. Like other drugs, long-term use of synthetic drugs can strain one’s financial status and lead to compulsive, risk-taking behavior to fulfill the drug habit.
Do You Need Help with Designer Drug Addiction?
If you or your loved one is battling with the effects of designer drugs, you can reach out to us at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Our robust programs can help you detox in a safe space under close supervision. Furthermore, our therapy programs can deal with the underlying causes of an addiction or abuse habit. They include:
- Medical detox program
- Drug detox program
- Dual diagnosis treatment programs
- Addiction therapy programs
If you’re battling substance abuse, you are not alone. Reach out to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 and let us help you detox safely and reduce the effects of designer drugs.