If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, you may be wondering what are synthetic drugs? Synthetic drugs, also known as designer drugs, are chemically-created drugs that are meant to give similar effects as drugs like opiates, stimulants, or hallucinogenics. Unlike drugs like heroin or cocaine, synthetic drugs are, in many cases, legal. Chemists design these substances in part to evade drug laws. This means online sellers and stores can distribute them without legal ramifications.
Examples of synthetic drugs include K2 and bath salts. Both became widely abused in the United States throughout the 2010s. When wondering what are synthetic drugs, you may wonder if they are as addictive as substances like alcohol and heroin. Although they may be chemically different than the drugs they emulate, these drugs are just as addictive. Finding a synthetic drug addiction treatment program can help you or a loved one begin to heal.
What Are Synthetic Drugs?
There are over 200 different types of synthetic drugs, many of which remain legal. Chemists create new drugs that cause almost identical effects as known substances like marijuana and cocaine. Therefore, availability spreads until legislators update laws to ban their sale. Some examples include:
- K2 and Spice
- Bath salts
Synthetic drugs are most popular among young adults and teenagers, although all age groups abuse them. Designer drugs are especially common at raves, parties, and night clubs because many of them create euphoric, amphetamine-like effects. In many cases, young people turn to synthetic drugs as a last resort to escape crippling mental health symptoms. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses any mental health concerns that precede or are caused by substance abuse.
Dangers of Synthetic Drugs
Synthetic cannabinoids, which replicate the effects of THC in marijuana, are among the most prevalent and easily accessible substances in the United States. K2 and spice are two types of synthetic cannabinoids. Bath salts, another type of designer drug, simulate the effects of amphetamines and methamphetamine.
Designer drugs are not only addictive but extremely dangerous. Users rarely receive information about their chemical composition. However, known side effects of drugs like bath salts and K2 include psychosis, confusion, hallucinations, and brain damage. If you are wondering what are synthetic drugs and why are they so dangerous, the simple answer is that only the chemist that created the drug truly knows the ingredients.
The risks of taking drugs magnify when you don’t know what they contain. Designer drugs can cause serious mental impairment and short term and long-term psychotic episodes. It is not fully understood what long-term consequences are associated with synthetic drug addiction. However, known dangers associated with continued use and overdoses can include seizures, memory loss, and personality changes.
Finding a Treatment Program
Combating addiction can be difficult, especially if you are wondering what are synthetic drugs and are unclear about the risks associated with them. Don’t worry about the cost of treatment and insurance verification, the Affordable Care Act requires insurance providers to cover costs associated with substance abuse treatment. Even if you feel hopeless or lost while trapped in addiction, recovery is always possible. Contact AspenRidge Recovery today at 866.977.8625 to learn more about how our Colorado addiction rehab can help you or a loved one overcome addiction and achieve recovery.