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What You Should Know about Designer Drugs

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: November 1st, 2021


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

The term designer drugs became known in the 1980s and 1990s as part of the club and rave scene. This term was coined with the rise in popularity of other designer items, such as home décor and clothing. With a visit to a drug addiction rehab center, New Hampshire residents can get help for designer drug use.

What is a Designer Drug?

These drugs are drugs created in a laboratory. The laboratory is usually an underground or secret illegal lab. The creators change the properties of a drug that comes from a plant, such as marijuana, cocaine, or morphine, and alters its chemistry. This means designer drugs have a new and different effect on behavior and the brain.

The goal of these drugs is to get around the law. The chemicals used to manufacture and make them aren’t illegal at first. This allows for the legal sale of these ingredients, either through online retailers or over the counter. Once the law catches up with designer drugs, it still doesn’t mean they disappear from circulation on the black market.

The Dangers of Designer Drugs

Designer drugs can seem like a safer alternative when you think about how they were originally made with that intent. However, they can often be more dangerous. The nature of the labs means that no one can be 100% sure what chemicals they are injecting. For example, many people who smoke K2, a synthetic form of marijuana, can wind up in the emergency room.

This isn’t due to the THC but other synthetic chemicals that are used to increase the high. There is no standard of manufacturing. The ingredients can have higher potency rates that vary among different batches. This can create a higher risk for overdoses and fatalities of users. Addiction to designer drugs can also change the chemical balance in the brain. This can lead to mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety, especially in teenagers’ developing brains. If you find yourself addicted to designer drugs due to their synthetic nature they are more harmful and more addictive requiring the assistance of a substance abuse rehab center in Portland, ME

Popular Designer Drugs

  • MDMA: This causes social and emotional effects and is classified as an amphetamine. It induces a sense of euphoria but the side effects include hypertension and cardiac issues and it can also be fatal.
  • Molly: Molly is a purer form of MDMA and isn’t supposed to come with extra ingredients. However, since there isn’t a standard it’s impossible to know what you are actually getting.
  • Bath Salts: Bath salts create the effects of methamphetamine. However, bath salts have also been known to contain fungicides, pesticides, and other chemicals that are potentially harmful and deadly. Users can experience anxiety, confusion, and hallucinations.
  • Gravel: This comes in a crystal-like form and is a mixture of methamphetamine, bath salts, and Klonopin. However, some samples have shown ammonia nitrate, a chemical used in fertilizer. The drug can cause effects to the central nervous system and can cause brain damage.
  • Krokodil: This is an addictive and deadly drug that contains Desomorphine and ingredients that make it similar to heroin. It’s known to contain paint thinner and gasoline. Prolonged use can rot the skin and organs, leading to death.
  • Synthetic Marijuana: This designer drug can also be called K2 and is a drug made by soaking the natural herbs in different synthetic chemicals to produce a high. Products may be sold as incense and then people smoke it and abuse it.
  • 25i: This substance is compared to acid or LCD and is recently illegal. It comes in a liquid, powder, or blotter paper form.

Seeking Help

It can be easy to say you are just trying designer drugs. However, with the dangerous effects of these designer drugs, it’s easy to become addicted and in some cases, the side effects can be fatal. If you have started using these drugs but aren’t sure how to stop, reach out to a quality residential drug rehab center in New Hampshire. Contact 855.712.7784 to get help today.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.