The Challenges of Designer Drug Addiction
The term ‘designer drugs’ or ‘club drugs’ refer to stimulants, hallucinogens or depressants that are produced in underground labs in the United States, or overseas and ship here. Some examples of designer drugs are Ecstasy, Spice, Rohypnol, LSD, GHB, Ketamine or bath salts.
Designer drugs are usually based on the chemical formulas for existing controlled substances like opioids and cannabis, but changing the molecular structure of it during the production process.
Dangers of Designer Drugs
Designer drugs may appear harmless as compared to street drugs like Heroin or Cocaine, but the fact is that they can produce dangerous side effects like:
- Physical and psychological addiction
- Mood changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychotic behavior
- Heart failure
What makes designer drugs so dangerous? The fact is that the source of these drugs and their exact chemical formula are unknown, making their effects unpredictable. Also, since these drugs get used a lot at nightclubs and parties, sedative drugs like Rohypnol have been mixed with alcoholic beverages and used to facilitate date rape. Furthermore, drugs like Ecstasy and GHB are often mixed with alcohol and illicit drugs, worsening their side effects. The use of designer drugs can decrease inhibitions and encourage risk-taking behavior, thus increasing the chances that an individual will drive while intoxicated or suffer an accidental injury. Also, many of these designer drugs cannot be detected via urine analysis or other screening methods.
Are Designer Drugs Addictive?
A lot of individuals don’t realize that designer drugs can produce chemical dependence. NIDA, which is the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that designer drugs can generate classic signs of addiction like:
- Physical tolerance
- Compulsive drug seeking behavior
- Intense cravings
- Withdrawal symptoms
Individuals who use designer drugs recreationally may find that this social use turns into substance abuse once the individual develops a dependency on the drug. So what are the signs of designer drug abuse?
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Changes in hygiene or personal appearance
- Confused behavior
- Sleeping problems
- Borrowing or stealing money from family members
- Decline in performance at school or at work
- Loss of interest in friends and activities
The fact is that there are over 200 varieties of synthetic designer drugs available on the market, which have potentially harmful and fatal side effects. It is important for individuals and their loved ones to identify the signs and symptoms of designer drug addiction, so that they can contact a professional counselor who can provide advice on the most effective treatment
Blueprints provides support for young adults facing addiction recovery. We provide tailored programs to help resolve addictive behaviors and get them on the path to recovery and healing.