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Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

One strategy drug makers use in pursuit of profit is to stay one step ahead of legislation. They will make a drug and sell it until it causes enough damage to be outlawed, then they will change the chemical structure slightly so it’s not technically illegal and usually not identifiable by drug tests. The cycle repeats endlessly. As a result, there are hundreds of thousands of different compounds floating around under various names and no one is really sure what effect those compounds will have on users.

Although the frequent chemical alteration is meant to stay ahead of law enforcement, it also stays ahead of medical care. Products sold as “synthetic marijuana” may be any one of dozens of compounds, most of which are not remotely similar to cannabis or THC. One such compound is actually very similar to THC, but it is hundreds of times more potent. Someone might show up in the emergency room behaving strangely and doctors may not be able to figure out what she had taken or what to do about it.

Perhaps the most infamous synthetic drug is bath salts. Bath salts were sold openly in convenience stores and head shops until bizarre and violent episodes apparently caused by bath salts attracted media attention leading to the drugs ban in most states. Bath salts and similar drugs are often sold as meth or cocaine substitutes. They typically cause euphoria, alertness, anxiety, and muscle tension. Their more extreme and newsworthy effects include hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and psychotic behavior. People in the grip of these kinds of drugs are frequently described as zombies. In one recent video from Brazil, a man evincing this zombie-like behavior cracked a bus windshield several times with his head.

Other common effects of synthetic drugs might be seizures, delusions, aggression, paranoia, heart attack, overheating, sweating, heart palpitations, or inability to speak. As the chemical formulas continue to multiply, the specific symptoms will likely change as well. Generally speaking, these drugs will affect the nervous system, distorting the user’s perceptions, actions, and autonomic nervous system, which controls things like blood pressure, hormones, and heart rate. They are also toxic substances that tend to affect the liver and kidneys.

Some drugs are not replacements for other, well known drugs, but are all synthetic themselves. These include PCP, LSD, MDMA, and fentanyl. Although LSD and MDMA have recently garnered attention for their therapeutic potential, and MDMA, in particular, is not very dangerous when taken at appropriate doses, most of what is sold on the street as LSD or MDMA is actually a synthetic substitute and may have same unpredictable effects as any other synthetic drug.

If you or someone you love is having trouble with synthetic drugs, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We make detox as comfortable as possible while treating illnesses or injuries caused by synthetic drugs. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at