November 10, 2022
The increased popularity of synthetic drugs has made it an epidemic in almost every country in the world. Also known as designer drugs or club drugs, synthetic drugs are illegally created in laboratories. Due to the nature of their distribution, synthetic drugs cause negative health complications.
The rise in their popularity dates back to their original purpose. Many designer drugs began as prescription medications. This changed when rogue chemists started illegally modifying the drugs and selling them individually. Since they are made in illegal labs, their ingredients are rarely labeled.
Unaware of what buyers ingest, synthetic drugs have become very dangerous to the individuals who are consuming them. Their hallucinogenic, stimulant, and depressant side effects make users vulnerable to addiction. The dangers of synthetic drugs have to do with their unknown ingredients and uncontrollable administration, which prevents users from understanding their dangerous effects. Thus, the synthetic drug epidemic worldwide continues to increase at an alarming rate.
What Are Synthetic Drugs and How Do They Work?
Synthetic drugs are illegally manufactured chemical substances. They are usually developed in illegitimate laboratories and are sold on the black market. Their appeal comes from a psychoactive high that many people mistake as “safer” than other illicit drugs. Synthetic drugs are also easier to obtain than drugs which need to be grown or foraged (like marijuana or psychoactive mushrooms), making them very addictive for frequent users.
Their effects come from a mix of toxic chemicals paired with the existing drug. On their own, synthetic drugs are typically administered by doctors as prescriptions. It is only when they are obtained by rogue chemists that they become dangerous. Distributors of designer drugs rarely label their ingredients in order to hide the negative effects that come with ingestion.
Users sometimes snort or inhale synthetics, but most of the drugs are ingested. At best, the high gives the user temporary euphoria, relaxation, or stimulation. But the positive effects quickly diminish when intense negative side effects take hold. The dangers of synthetic drugs are many, with extremely negative side effects that can result in severe health issues, including death.
Types and Names of Synthetic Drugs
There are several types of synthetic drugs ranging in severity and access. The most commonly ingested synthetic substances are synthetic stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids. These are chemically altered prescription stimulants and marijuana. These, however, are only a couple of the many altered drugs sold as synthetics.
Some street names of commonly distributed synthetic drugs include the following:
Krokodil, or Opioids
Also known as desomorphine, Krokodil is an altered form of the pain medicine codeine. It has similar effects to heroin but is far more deadly. Highly addictive, traces of paint thinner have been discovered in some forms of Krokodil. Overall, it is a fatal and dangerous opioid.
Molly, or Ecstasy
Molly is a synthetic form of ecstasy, inducing severe side effects. Due to the intense sensation it produces in the nervous system, it is commonly distributed at night clubs, music festivals, and dance clubs. Since its side effects greatly resemble ecstasy, users rarely believe that they’re taking an unsafe amount of the drug. Yet, some forms of the pill have been laced with an intense chemical compound that heightens negative symptoms and can cause many side effects.
Synthetic cocaine has many street names including Mind Melt or Mint Mania. It is still legal in some countries, making it very accessible for the average person. It can even be bought online by following code names like “plant food.” This makes it very addictive and is therefore classified as a deadly designer drug.
Smiles, or Synthetic LSD
Synthetic psychedelics are very dangerous hallucinogens. It can be sold in a solid or liquid form, and users can inject or inhale the drug. It is also particularly powerful, with highs lasting up to 12 hours. Chemicals paired with the already dangerous LSD result in fatal addictions.
Referred to as Vitamin K on the streets, synthetic opioids can be fatal. It is usually injected, but there are forms that can be sniffed or smoked. Opioids are normally prescription medications, but when they’re mixed with harmful chemicals, the results are disastrous.
K2, or Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic cannabinoids are often marketed as an alternative to marijuana. They’re usually either sprayed onto dried, shredded plant material or sold as liquids for use in e-cigarettes. Sometimes these products are referred to as liquid or herbal incense. Though they mislead users into thinking they’re a cannabis alternative, that is actually not the case.
Side Effects of Synthetic Drug Use
Depending on the individual, the side effects of synthetic drug use can range in severity. Even so, all of them are capable of being fatal. Traces of extremely toxic chemicals have been found in synthetic drugs, including rat poison. For addicts, there’s a greater risk of deadly outcomes.
Some side effects of synthetic drug use include but are not limited to:
- Intense hallucinations
- Violent outbursts
- Stomach problems
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Suicidal ideation
- Racing heartbeat
Physical differences between individuals aren’t the only factor which plays into how a drug affects someone. The widely-varying effects of synthetic drugs make the potential side effects extremely unpredictable. The same person can take the same type of synthetic drug on two separate occasions and have wildly different outcomes depending on how it was made and what chemicals were involved in its production.
Are you feeling the side effects of synthetic drug use? Contact us today to talk to an expert of the clinic about the treatment possibilities for addictive disorders related to the use of synthetic drugs>>>
Thousands of people every year visit the ER due to complications related to these side effects. Even the side effects that aren’t deadly (such as intense hallucinations) can be deeply traumatic. Just as a serious mental condition can lead to trauma, severe side-effects can leave a person with mental scars that require psychological treatment to heal.
Synthetic Drugs vs. Organic Drugs
Certain drugs come primarily from natural sources. For example, marijuana comes from the cannabis plant, and opium comes from poppy seeds. Synthetic drugs, however, are primarily man-made. Chemists create them in labs using fewer natural ingredients.
Some synthetic drugs imitate the effects of natural drugs. For example, cannabinoids are so called because they mimic the chemicals found in marijuana. Some users mistakenly believe—in part due to misleading names like “fake weed”—that these substances have all the same desirable and undesirable effects as marijuana. In truth, they are far more dangerous than marijuana. Cannabinoids can have much more powerful effects on the brain and be far less predictable than marijuana.
Similar effects are found in most synthetic drugs, since the human body cannot process or metabolize the highly-processed chemicals as well as their organic counterparts. This increases the likelihood that these drugs will cause adverse side effects.
Additionally, synthetic drugs have increased danger because they’re easier to mass-produce. While organic drugs—like any plant or animal product—require certain environments to grow, synthetic drugs do not. Any location can work as an illegal lab for these drugs as long as the creator can obtain the proper tools and ingredients.
Who Are the Most Common Abusers of Synthetic Drugs?
Anyone with access to synthetic drugs could become addicted, and their mass-produced nature means almost anyone could gain access to these drugs with little effort. There are some groups, however, who are more likely to use synthetic drugs than others.
For example, synthetic cannabinoid use is higher among younger demographics. The vast majority of ER visits for issues related to synthetic drug use are among young adults, mostly young males. Recovering addicts also fall victim to the misconception that synthetic drugs are safer than their natural equivalents. Those trying to recover from hard drugs like heroin or cocaine think they can use synthetic drugs to wean themselves off. Since the effects and potency of synthetic drugs are so unpredictable, however, they’re likely to be even stronger and more dangerous than the drugs they’ve taken previously.
Synthetic drugs are also prevalent in prisons. Since they don’t show up on traditional drug tests and are easy to find, prisoners find them very appealing. Often, these addictions continue after the convict has been freed from the prison system.
At Dr Vorobjev International Clinic, we have a long record of treating addiction and addictive disorders. We’ve successfully treated addiction to various drugs, and helped people overcome their psychological problems. Our team consists of experts who can help rid you of any addiction plaguing your life, including that to synthetic drugs.
We keep our procedures and treatments up-to-date with the latest research, and utilize state-of-the-art medical equipment to monitor our patients. Our individually-adapted treatments allow our patients to achieve maximum success in their recovery. With over twenty years of experience, we can assure our patients that we’re more than equipped to handle their needs. We’ve helped countless patients recover from their addictions and re-enter society.
If you’re struggling with synthetic drug addiction, we are here to help you find a new beginning. We know we can help, and we want to help you. Contact us today and our medical experts will provide you with instructions on how to solve the addiction in the fastest way possible.>>>
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the drug referred to as “bath salts” the same as the product sold in health and beauty stores?
No. “Bath salts” in the context of synthetic drugs refers to synthetic cathinones and synthetic hallucinogens. The bath salts sold by reputable retailers are mostly magnesium sulfate (a.k.a. Epsom Salt) and meant to dissolve in bathwater.
Many synthetic drugs come with misleading, seemingly-innocuous names so they can be sold online without detection.
What do I do if someone using synthetic drugs is severely intoxicated?
If someone is experiencing acute intoxication, you should get them to an Emergency Department (ED) or Emergency Room (ER). If necessary, contact your local Poison Control Center. Call emergency services immediately if they collapse, have a seizure, or stop breathing.
How do I quit using synthetic drugs?
If you’re addicted to synthetic drugs, your best path to recovery is seeking help. If you can, ask a trusted friend or family member for assistance. You can also reach out to us at Dr Vorobjev International Clinic directly to learn more about your treatment options.
Published on November 10, 2022
Dr Vorobjev Clinic team