Most synthetic drugs are produced overseas where there is minimal control or regulation regarding the chemicals used. The exact contents of
these products is often not known. Recently, the use of these products has increased significantly because they are readily available at any convenience store, on hundreds of websites online, in head shops, and on the street.
The most popular synthetic drugs are known as K2 or Spice. These are synthetic cannabinoids (fake marijuana) and do not contain the active ingredient found in real marijuana, known as THC. These chemical concoctions are sprayed over herbal substances that look similar to potpourri or real marijuana and when smoked will give the user a high.
There are many other synthetic drugs on the market that fall under the classification of a designer drug known as “bath salts”. On the street, these drugs are referred to as:
- Ivory Wave
- Vanilla Sky
- Red X
Bath salts is a fairly new drug on the scene and the effects this drug has on the user are shocking. The drug contains a variety of chemicals that are similar to amphetamines and are taken orally, inhaled, injected or snorted. When injected, the side effects are much more severe, such as elevated blood pressure, rapid heart rate, chest pains, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and agitation. Increased numbers of ER visits due to bath salts poisoning has caused many states to ban these products.
Is Synthetic Marijuana Safe?
Don’t be fooled into thinking synthetic marijuana is safe. This chemical and herbal concoction may mimic the effects of natural marijuana, but is not a “safe” alternative. Synthetic marijuana can cause and prolong psychosis along with other serious side effects. In some cases, synthetic marijuana may actually trigger a psychotic disorder in people who are predisposed to develop one. If someone has a family history of psychotic disorders, or is already suffering from some type of psychotic disorder, use of synthetic marijuana may induce an episode.
First sold in head shops as herbal incense or herbal smoking blends, synthetic cannabis was thought to be made up of a variety of natural herbs. Synthetic cannabinoids were used to manufacture these products and they react in the body in much the same way as THC, yet the effects last longer. In many cases, the desired high might take longer than with real marijuana and the user could overdose.
Because these were legal to use and were not yet banned, sales in the first years of 2000 were allowed. However, since 2010, many states have banned sales of these products because testing proved the potential harmfulness and hazards.
What are the Side Effects of Synthetic Drugs?
Side effects of synthetic drugs include addiction, heart attack, convulsions, psychosis, agitation, vomiting, and other symptoms similar to narcotic withdrawal such as seizures, elevated blood pressure, and hallucinations. Emergency rooms have seen a large increase in visits due to synthetic drug abuse.
Although synthetic drugs are banned and illegal in some states, the manufacturing and street sales of synthetic drugs still exists. With teens and students being misled by the ‘safety’ of its use, many are still falling victim to health dangers.
Regardless of continued efforts by the government to control these substances, it is virtually impossible for them to find every website or to track every possible source of these dangerous products. Anyone considering using these products should pay attention to the warnings. For every website that promotes these drugs, there are hundreds more websites with frightening statistics regarding the health effects or deaths suffered by others who trusted these drugs.
If you or a loved one has become a victim of synthetic drugs, please take action today and call to learn how we can help you overcome this addiction and take back control of your life.