The rate of synthetic drug consumption is steadily rising all over the world, especially in the United States where their popularity is increasing at an alarming rate. This is because most people assume that these types of drugs are naturally grown and are perfectly safe for consumption. Unfortunately, the reality begs to differ.

Do you know what synthetic drugs really are and how they can ruin your life? Scroll down and see for yourself.

What are Synthetic Drugs?

K2 - Synthetic Drug UseA synthetic drug is a specially designed drug that has properties and effects similar to hallucinogen narcotics, though their chemical structure is slightly altered on purpose. Usually, it is done to evade restrictions against the illicit substances. These designer drugs are manufactured in laboratories to mimic the characteristics and effects of the classic drugs that are illegal in most parts of the world.

The reason behind their high demand is that a number of people believe that they are safe for consumption because they are manufactured in labs and they are not exactly illegal in some places. What most people fail to realize is that these drugs are potentially the most harmful and destructive drugs that are currently making their rounds in the drug markets.

The worst part is that for almost all of these drugs, the composition is unknown. One cannot even predict the kind of adverse effects they have on the mind and body of the user. This makes these drugs potentially more harmful and risky than older drugs like heroin and cocaine. Unfortunately, many people, especially teenagers, remain steadfast in their use of synthetic drugs because they are cheap and, in most cases, easily available.

Types of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are available in numerous forms. It is difficult to keep track of all of them; still, we can classify them in three common types.

1. Party Pills

Party pills, also known as ‘herbal highs’, are marketed as a safe and herbal supplement to energize your mood and stimulate the feeling of euphoria. They are synthetic stimulants that aim to mimic the effects similar to drugs like ecstasy or amphetamines. They contain a cocktail of chemically active ingredients like Aurantium, Geranamine, Benzylpiperazine (BZP), caffeine, phenylalanine and a number of other constituents.

After the ban on BZP, manufacturers started marketing the same thing with slightly different ingredients. The exact composition of these drugs is unknown. Moreover, the manufacturers keep changing it, making it even more difficult to predict their harmful effects.

2. Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana goes by many names including Spice, fake pot, K2, legal weed etc. Synthetic components are sprayed over dried and chopped herbs. Unlike marijuana, synthetic marijuana incorporates synthetic cannabinoids to replicate THC’s (Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) effects. Keep in mind that the ban on the use of THC is what made the manufacturers switch over to synthetic cannabinoids.

With over 120 chemical forms of synthetic cannabinoids, it is virtually impossible to know the composition of a batch of synthetic marijuana. Remember, legal marijuana is falsely marketed as “safe, legal and herbal”, but in reality, these drugs are probably as harmful, if not more, as marijuana.

Some of the reported effects of synthetic cannabis include the feeling of euphoria, a sense of disconnection from reality and identity, dry mouth, fast and irregular heartbeat, paranoia, dizziness and agitation.

Other more serious effects include hypertension, hallucinations, heart palpitations, chest pains, seizures and in some cases, even death. These symptoms and effects indicate the toxic composition of synthetic marijuana. Moreover, while most of their long-term effects on physical and mental health are yet to be discovered, we know that these drugs can cause memory loss and paralysis in the long run.

3. Research Chemicals

More commonly known as drug analogues, these drugs are derived from other known drugs like cathinones and phenethylamines. A number of adverse effects are experienced by the users of research chemicals and often result in an emergency trip to the hospital.

Some common effects include hallucinations that go on for days, an extreme case of paranoia, acute agitation, loss of appetite, emotional instability, heart problems like palpitations and increased heartbeat rate, diminished cognitive abilities and even suicidal thoughts.

The Horrific Effects of Synthetic Drugs

It is important to realize that these drugs do no good. A short term ‘high’ is never worth putting your health, in fact, your life at risk. Sure, all drugs have adverse effects but synthetic drugs are potentially way more dangerous.

Older drugs destroy a person’s life by slowly deteriorating the body and mind over time. However, synthetic drugs can ruin lives much more quickly by immediately triggering life-threatening psychotic episodes of paranoia, hallucinations, and suicidal and homicidal tendencies.

In some reported cases, the effects of these supposedly ‘safe’ drugs were violent enough to take out not only the user, but also the adults and children in their close vicinity. For example, the tragic case of a 35-year old woman in Munnsville, New York made headlines in 2012. Being under the influence of “bath salts”, a common synthetic drug, the woman started to beat and choke her 3-year old child in a parking lot. Police tried to subdue her but she went into a cardiac arrest and passed.

Such cases are an eye-opener to the horrific and harmful effects of using synthetic drugs. If you use them or know anyone who does, don’t hesitate to talk about it. The way these drugs are marketed, it is easy to fall for them but keep in mind that help is always around.

Remember, these drugs are highly addictive and you should keep yourself from developing an addiction to them at all costs. If you have already developed a tendency, it’s time you seek professional help from a medical facility like Scottsdale Recovery Center to get your life back on the track before it gets too late.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.