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New Designer Drugs Prompts Strong Warnings

Designer drugs

LSD, ecstasy, spice and ketamine are some of the substances known as designer drugs or club drugs. The two terms mean the same and are used loosely to refer to hallucinogens, stimulants and depressants that are produced in underground labs in the US or overseas and shipped into the country. The chemical formulas of many designer drugs are based on those of controlled substances such as opioids and cannabis. The effects of designer drugs are adverse because of a chemical alteration of their molecular structures during production. Some of the side effects of designer drugs include mood changes, addiction, psychotic behavior, seizures, hyperthermia and even heart failure.

Dangers

Because of the chemical alteration of designer drugs, most of them slip through entry points without being detected by standard screening kits used by federal authorities. Designer drugs have been sold in convenience stores and even online with minimal controls. However, the availability of these drugs poses a serious threat to public health and wellness.

  • Designer drugs are considered dangerous because their effects are often unpredictable. There is little knowledge about the source of these drugs and their exact chemical formulas.
  • Some designer drugs such as ecstasy and GHB are often mixed with alcohol and other illicit drugs making them more potent to users.
  • The use of designer drugs decreases inhibitions and affects judgment encouraging users to take risks. This increases the chances of drinking while intoxicated, having unsafe sex or suffering an injury.
  • Rohypnol, a sedative, has been mixed with alcohol in parties and clubs and used as a date rape drug.
  • Many designer drugs can be detected through urinalysis or other standard testing methods making it increasingly difficult to measure intoxication levels.
Like many controlled substances, designer drugs affect the central nervous system, changing the way the brain relays information. Stimulants like ecstasy boost energy levels while producing hallucinogenic effects. Rohypnol is a sedative that may be fatal when combined with alcohol or other depressants.

Addiction

Addiction and DepressionLike alcohol and prescription pain medication, designer drugs can also produce chemical dependence or addiction. The classic signs of addiction produced by designer drugs include physical tolerance to the drugs, craving for the substances, compulsive behavior and withdrawal symptoms when the drugs are absent.

Occasional recreational use may turn into addiction once a user becomes dependent on the high produced by the drug. Parents and guardians should be on the lookout for the signs of designer drug addiction and take necessary steps to prevent the adverse effects of the drugs including overdose and fatal accidents.

Signs of Designer Drug Addiction

Preventing designer drug abuse starts with knowing the signs of addiction. The signs of abuse of designer drugs can be quite similar with those of alcohol and street drugs. These signs include:

  • Changes in behavior or personality
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • The user becomes financially irresponsible or starts to steal money
  • Changes in hygiene
  • Unexplained weight loss
Many people do not realize that the effects of designer drugs go beyond the confines of a club or party. If a family member or close friend is taking designer drugs, it is important for you to help them get help from an inpatient rehab facility where they can successfully battle the addiction. It can be extremely difficult for an addict to shake off an addiction on his own. An inpatient rehabilitation center provides a community to help designer drug addicts through the recovery process. These facilities provide 24-hour care by trained professionals. Inpatient rehabilitation is the best solution for designer drug addicts because it offers a safe and structured environment for addicts to begin rebuilding their lives over an extended period.

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