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The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are often terrifying proof that using a legal substance has the potential to end in fatal overdose. Although many states ban the chemicals used in the creation of synthetic drugs such as fake LSD or K2, also called “spice” or synthetic marijuana, others have not. Illicit manufacturers make new compounds so quickly that drug enforcement officials cannot keep up. Synthetic Drugs Can Cause Overdose Ask a child of the 1960s about LSD and you will likely hear stories of bad trips that resulted in terrifying hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety that lasted for hours. The LSD of the 1960s is a far cry from the synthetic LSD of today, however. The new drug, known as N-Bomb, resulted in three overdoses in a 12-hour period in Texas. The drug comes in powder, tab, and liquid form, and it produces seizures, aggressions, agitation, and hallucinations. It is also sometimes added to Sweet Tarts candy. Synthetic marijuana is another problem drug. In Missouri, laws prohibit the sale of synthetic marijuana yet they cannot keep pace with illicit manufacturers who create alternative legal compounds. Police issued a warning of the new drugs’ dangerous effects — these effects can include rapid heartbeat, psychotic episodes, breathing problems, vomiting, and nausea. Emergency responders who don’t know what drug has been taken are sometimes unable to administer drug treatment, for fear of causing a serious reaction. What Are Synthetic Drugs Made of? One of the biggest problems with synthetic drugs is the misconception that their legal sale makes them safe. Smaller mom-and-pop shops, gas stations, and diners might sell the drugs, which are nearly always labeled with a “not for human consumption” tag and might be advertised as potpourri. Synthetic drugs can and do contain dangerous chemicals such as nail polish remover, household cleansers, gasoline, and other things. They may be legal for the time being, but they are certainly not safe — and the growing numbers of emergency room visits are proof. The biggest problem with synthetic drugs is that the ones that are illegal contain known toxins and the ones that are sold legally are likely extremely dangerous. No one knows the long term effects of synthetic drugs, physically or psychologically. No one knows if they produce tolerance and physical dependence, psychosis, or if their use is a gateway to even riskier drugs. If someone you know has developed a synthetic drug habit, getting help from a drug rehabilitation center may be necessary. (Photo via)

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