Designer drugs are synthetic substances mostly sold illegally to give the users a high. These drugs are supposed to mimic mainstream psychoactive substances like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. The danger of drug abuse is serious with designer drugs, which is why you should get help if you are unable to stop using them. Any use of designer drugs carries infinite risks and can be life-threatening.
Avoid the recreational use of designer drugs, as you can quickly find yourself on the path to addiction or overdose. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 to begin your recovery journey and a drug-free future.
What Are Designer Drugs?
Designer drugs include any human-made or synthetic drugs taken to induce a high. Manufacturers create them in unregulated labs to be sold illicitly and mimic natural drugs. However, designer drugs are not exactly similar to the mainstream psychoactive compounds they attempt to imitate. The potency and purity of the ingredients used vary widely. The labs making these drugs are neither standardized nor tested, which means no two batches are alike.
For this reason, there is a high risk of drug abuse or overdosing on designer drugs, even if you take according to instructions. Additionally, you may have unpredictable reactions to the drug because of one or more harmful ingredients in the batch.
Can Designer Drugs be Legal?
Most synthetic drugs are illegal to make and sell, but some barely pass the mark to be considered legal. Usually, these are new products or variations of existing designer drugs that the government hasn’t outlawed yet.
The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 made it illegal to make or distribute anything mimicking cannabinoids and several other hallucinogens. This law made many designer drugs illegal in one fell swoop.
Still, unscrupulous laboratories tweak their formulae to create different products from the listed ones, making them legal. In practice, ‘legal’ designer drugs could be even more dangerous because users may interpret legal to mean safe.
Types and Examples of Designer Drugs
There are several types of designer drugs, which the Drug Enforcement Agency calls new psychoactive substances (NPS). The DEA mentions over 300 known designer drugs, which fall under the following subcategories:
Manufacturers make these drugs look like natural cannabinoids, the active compounds in marijuana/cannabis plants. Using synthetic cannabinoids can cause seizures, violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, and hallucinations. Examples of these substances can include drugs such as:
- Scooby Snax
Cathinone is one of the compounds found in the Catha edulis plant (khat), and these are some of the most dangerous types of drugs. These drugs are stimulants, which create similar effects as methamphetamine, MDMA, or cocaine abuse. Adverse reactions include violent outbursts/aggression, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, suicidal thoughts, and chest pain.
These drugs mimic hallucinogen drugs. They may be in the form of liquids or powders or even paper soaked in liquids. Common examples include Smiles and N-bomb. Drug abuse involving phenethylamines can cause respiratory failure, heart attacks, and seizures, among other life-threatening symptoms.
The above are the most common designer drugs that dealers distribute in the United States. Other types of designer drugs, according to the DEA, include:
- Arylcyclohexamines or phencyclidines
- N-ring systems
The base chemical compound determines what the specific drug subtype is. Most work like stimulants or hallucinogens, so the drug user might not even know what they’re using.
Getting Help for Designer Drug Abuse at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
If you or someone you love has been using or abusing designer drugs, there is help at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. Through safe, structured, medically-supervised detox, we can help you start your journey towards complete recovery. Our programs include:
- Residential detox program
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
- Addiction therapy programs
- Medical detox program
Regardless of how long you have used or abused designer drugs, you can make a fresh start. Begin your journey by checking into a quality drug abuse detox center. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356, and let’s get you on your way to a drug-free future.