Designer drugs are lab-created substances that are meant to emulate the effects of other drugs, like opiates, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Among the many dangers of designer drugs are that manufacturers create these synthetic substances in a manner that makes them legal or difficult to regulate. Substances like Spice and K2, popularly abused designer drugs, are two examples of popular designer drugs that were at one time completely legal to buy and sell. Even though over 20 million Americans struggle with an addiction annually, only about 10% of people with a substance abuse disorder receive treatment. Drugs are neurotransmitter inhibitors and can lead to both physical and psychological dependency. All psychoactive substances carry the risk of addiction, including opiates, benzodiazepines, and designer drugs.
The Dangers of Designer Drugs
While many designer drugs are made so that they can be legally bought and sold, they carry many of the same risks of illicit substances. One of the dangers of designer drugs is that users may believe they’re safe to consume and use because they can be purchased in stores or online. Unfortunately, since designer drugs are made to create similar effects as substances like marijuana, stimulants, and opiates, they can lead to addiction. Some of the most widely used designer drugs include:
- Bath salts
Despite regulatory loopholes that allow many designer drugs to become easily accessible, dangerous side effects and overdoses are among the dangers of designer drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids, like K2, can cause psychosis and paranoia. Bath salts can create stimulating effects that cause heart problems and sleep deprivation. Certain designer drugs, like U-47700, are very powerful and can lead to fatal and non-fatal overdoses. U-47700, a type of synthetic opiate, is stronger than heroin and fentanyl, making users prone to experiencing addiction or severe side effects like an overdose.
How Designer Drug Addiction is Treated
Since addiction is among the many serious dangers of designer drug use, treatment centers specialize in providing programs that can help you make a full recovery. Whether you develop a psychological or physical dependency, early treatment is the best way to ensure you have the support and help necessary to recover. You can choose to complete an inpatient or an outpatient substance abuse treatment program. Many inpatient treatment centers also offer medically supervised detox services, which is a great option if you have a physical dependency. Detox can help limit and reduce withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to navigate the first stage of recovery. Inpatient programs typically last for at least 28 days and offer the highest level of care, making it an excellent choice if you have a severe or lengthy addiction.
Additionally, if you have a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis, an inpatient treatment center can offer both mental health and addiction therapy services. Ensuring that you receive help for both conditions is essential to your successful recovery. Outpatient programs allow you to return home at night and can be a great way to stay active in treatment following discharge from inpatient rehab. Intensive outpatient programs usually meet for at least 3 days a week, while partial hospitalization programs meet at least 5 days a week.
Finding Help Today
Dangers of designer drugs include hurting your relationships, damaging your health, and causing instability in nearly all aspects of your life. Struggling with an addiction can also make you feel alone, frustrated, and exhausted, but reaching out for help is the first step in your recovery journey. No matter what stage of addiction you’re in, recovery is always possible. Reach out today at 1.713.528.3709 to find out more about the dangers of designer drugs and to discuss your treatment options.