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What are the Types of Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic or “Designer” drugs made their appearance onto the drug market within the last 15 years. They can be purchased online or at local smoke shops. Some states have banned sales of synthetic drugs, but manufacturers adjust the chemical components of the substance to make them technically legal to sell again. Synthetic drugs mimic the effects of marijuana, hallucinogens and stimulants. Synthetic drugs are undetectable on standard toxicology tests and are typically cheaper and easier to find compared to street drugs.

Synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic marijuana goes by the name K2, spice, herbal incense and potpourri. This chemical is sprayed on dried herbs and resembles marijuana. The active ingredient in marijuana is THC, whereas the active ingredient in synthetic marijuana can be a combination of over 100 various chemicals. This product is often marketed as a safe alternative to marijuana, but it is far from it. People have died while being under the influence of synthetic marijuana by overdose, cardiovascular and respiratory illness.

Synthetic LSD is a newer chemical being marketed that can have devastating effects. Dealers often sell it as LSD but it is actually made from a chemical called N-BOMe. This substance can cause overdose with a just a few specks of the substance and the high can last over 10 hours. The user will experience auditory and visual hallucinations, agitation, aggression, paranoia, respiratory issues, loss of consciousness, high acid level in the body and death.

Synthetic stimulants, synthetic Cathinones, are often referred to as “bath salts.” Bath salts are a white crystallized powder that is smoked, injected or snorted. Synthetic stimulants give users euphoria similar to cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines. The dangerous side effects of synthetic stimulants can include extreme paranoia, hallucinations, feeling invincible, panic attacks and anxiety and extreme aggression. Synthetic stimulants can also cause kidney damage, dehydration, violent behavior and death.  

Synthetic depressants differ from the aforementioned substances. Fentanyl should be included in this list because it is a man-made substance, and has had devastating effects in the population. Heroin is a well-known opiate that is highly addictive. Drug manufacturers and dealers have found a cheap alternative to distributing heroin in the form of fentanyl—or synthetic heroin. Fentanyl can be prescribed for severe pain relief for terminally ill patients. This substance is detectable on standard toxicology tests. Fentanyl is also a cheaper, more productive way to market opiates. With the opiate crisis in America, Fentanyl has added more fuel to the fire. Fentanyl laced substances have accounted for numerous accidental, overdose deaths because it is at least 100 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl can look white or brown and can be smoked, injected or snorted. The effects of this substance are initially similar to heroin. However, fentanyl has disproportionately high rate of death by overdose. If you suspect loved one is under the influence of any of these substances, seek medical help immediately.

The first step in recovering from synthetic drug addiction is detox. The Serenity Recovery Center offers a comfortable way to clinically detox under medical supervision. Call us today for information on our detox program at the Encino Hospital Medical Center: 866.294.9401