What Are Designer Drugs?

For many people with a drug problem or addiction, “regular” drugs are just not enough for them. Instead, they have begun looking for a greater high with more intense effects from their drugs. If this is the case, they will likely turn to designer drugs. 

What Are Designer Drugs?

What is a Designer Drug? 

A designer drug means any drug where properties have been chemically changed, in an illegal lab, to make them mimic other drugs but with a more powerful effect on the body and the brain. 

They may also be called synthetic drugs or club drugs. There are several designer drugs out there. Since they are all created illegally, their chemical makeup can vary drastically. The most common designer drugs that are out there include: 

  • Rohypnol (the date rape drug)
  • MDMA (Molly or Ecstasy)
  • LSD (Acid)
  • Methamphetamines (Crystal Meth)
  • Ketamine (Special K) 
  • Synthetic marijuana (K2 or Spice)
  • Alpha – PVP (Flakka) 
  • GHB 
  • Bath salts

Three Main Categories of Designer Drugs

The full list of designer drugs on the streets can number in the hundreds, but they all generally fall under three main categories. 

The first category is called synthetic cathinones. These designer drugs are known as stimulants. They work on the brain by increasing dopamine serotonin levels that produce feelings of pleasure, happiness, increase motivation, and increase attention.

The next category is known as synthetic cannabinoids. These mimic the effects of marijuana by interacting with the same receptors in the brain that THC does. They create comparable but much stronger effects like relaxation, altered perception, and sometimes even psychosis. 

The third main category is synthetic phenethylamines. These are hallucinogens. They act on the brain by changing its understanding of sensory input resulting in the hallucination of sight, sound, touch, and even taste. 

The Dangers of Designer Drugs 

While these designer drugs may just seem like a fun night out or a way to increase your high, they can all have devastating and life-changing results. Their potency and the fact that their chemical makeup caries so much is why they are so dangerous. All of these drugs are created in different underground labs that are not regulated.

This can result in irregular amounts of ingredients and include a ton of different harmful chemicals that are not meant for human consumption to make them more potent. Since there is no uniformity or one set recipe for designer drugs, they can lead to very serious side effects such as violent outbreaks, hallucinations, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, heart complications, and even death. 

The Legal Status of Designer Drugs

Designer drugs are not legal, plain, and simple. However, these makeshift manufacturers have found different ways around the law to sell these designer drugs online, inside head shops, and even at gas stations all around the country. In addition, many dealers will market their products as things like plant food, incense, or even diet supplements to avoid any legal trouble. 

As a way for these illegal drug manufacturers to stay one step ahead of the law, they constantly change formulas and are quick to claim that their product is legal. 

Seeking Addiction Help at Garden State Treatment Center

If you or someone you love has a problem or addiction to designer drugs, Garden State Treatment Center can provide you a specialized detox and treatment plan that can help get your life back on track without drugs getting in the way. Detox and withdrawal is the first step in any road to recovery. This allows you to get stable and sober.

Then the real treatment can begin with behavioral therapy and other treatment methods to get to the root of your addiction. Contact one of our addiction specialists, they are available around the clock and will help you find the best program that will help you.