Considering the fact that all drug substances are designed to interrupt the normal patterns and routines of the human body in order to produce the desired effects, one could safely argue that all drug substances are at least a little dangerous. That said, there is certainly no denying that some drug substances are much more dangerous than others. And while one might think that synthetic drugs are better regulated during manufacture and are therefore less dangerous, this is actually wrong. In fact, synthetic drugs can often be even more dangerous than the drugs they are meant to mimic.
Synthetic drugs can come in a variety of forms, including herbs, liquids, pills, and powders. They can be designed to mimic many different drug substances and include everything from synthetic marijuana to LSD. These drugs are often sold in small, colorful packages that are carefully labeled “not for human consumption” so that they can be sold in convenience stores, as well as on the street and over the Internet.
The grave danger that synthetic drugs present lies in the fact that their chemical composition is entirely unknown to the user. Even the same synthetic drug substance produced by the same manufacturer can vary widely in chemical composition from one batch to the next, which means that the user is never certain of what they are taking. A single hit from a particular blend of a synthetic drug can prove fatal, especially if it contains a significant amount of a drug substance that the individual has not previously ingested or developed a tolerance to.
Following is a partial list of common synthetic drugs:
- Synthetic marijuana. Also known as Spice, K2, Fake Weed, Black Mamba, and Mojo, synthetic marijuana is designed to simulate the effects caused by the main ingredient in natural marijuana–THC. It is normally created by spraying chemicals onto herbs, roots and other plant parts and often sold as “incense.”
- Cathinones. Also known as bath salts, cathinones are designed to simulate the effects caused by stimulant drugs like Ecstasy, methamphetamine, and cocaine. They are normally sold in a powder or crystal form and ingested through snorting or swallowing.
- Fentanyl is currently recognized as the most potent medical painkiller available. It is estimated to be up to fifty times more potent than heroin and up to one hundred times more potent than morphine, and has been used to treat severe pain in cancer patients. Some drug dealers will sell heroin that is laced with fentanyl, which can potentially cause an overdose-related death after a single hit.
- Lysergic acid diethylamide. Known more commonly as LSD, this synthetic drug substance acts as a hallucinogen, producing intense psychological effects along with severe anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks.
- Molly. Designed to mimic the effects of Ecstasy, Molly is a hallucinogen and stimulant drug substance. Often considered a club drug, Molly can cause dangerous increases in body temperature that may lead to organ failure and death.
- N-BOMe. Also known as N-Bomb or Smiles, N-BOMe is a hallucinogen that is often compared to LSD or mescaline, and may even be sold to users as LSD or mescaline. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous synthetic drugs currently in existence since just a few grains of the substance can cause death.
Protecting Against Synthetic Drug Use
One of the most effects tools that can be used in the fight against synthetic drug use is education. In many cases, individuals are unaware of the dangers that these drugs present, especially since there is no way to verify that what they are being sold is what they are told it is. Individuals who understand what synthetic drugs are, how they are produced, and the fact that there is no way to be certain of the chemical composition, may be better able to make the wise decision and abstain from their use.