Image Source: The Drug Classroom
Times are changing… and drugs are changing with them. In recent years, there’s been an explosion of new “designer drugs,” a cause for much concern if you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem. Designer drugs get their name from the study of drug design. Sometimes, chemical compounds are created for research purposes. Then, they’re discovered to have effects on the brain that are drug-like. For this reason, they are sometimes also referred to as “research chemicals.”
Many designer drugs or research chemicals are analogs. This means that their effects are comparable to another specific type of drug. For example, marijuana analogs create a high that is very similar to marijuana. These analog designer drugs a problem for a number of reasons. First, they are relatively new. This means that most of them cannot be detected by common drug tests. Chemists and other scientists do not know enough about them to include tests for them on standard drug panels. So, they might be used by addicts even if they are in circumstances that require drug tests: treatment centers, halfway houses and legal probation are just some of these circumstances. Since they may get away with using drugs, addicts have less of an incentive to stop using.
Designer drugs and research chemicals may also still be legal. In many gas stations across the country, for example, it is possible to buy “synthetic marijuana,” also known as “spice” or “K2.” They are sold as incense, rather than drugs. So, there is no legal framework to guard against their consumption.
Lastly, since they are relatively new, their effects may still be unknown. There has been recent media coverage of the drug “bath salts,” which act as analogs for methamphetamine. Though their packaging states that they should not be consumed by people, side effects range from heart attack and kidney damage to paranoid hallucination to violent behavior.
More drugs are not a solution to any drug problem. Only treatment and recovery can help drug addicts. If you or someone you know need treatment for drug addiction, call 877-968-6682 today!