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The Story of Designer Drugs

Designer drugs exist as an attempt by purveyors of illicit substances to skirt the provisions of existing drug laws. That’s usually done by modifying the chemical structure of known drugs to some degree. Designer drugs can also be the product of the discovery of a drug that despite an entirely different chemical makeup than illegal drugs, can produce the same results that illicit substances do.

Designer drugs attempt to imitate the effects of illegal or tough to get prescription drugs. Examples of these are methamphetamine and ecstasy. Street names include bath salts, plant food and incense (fake marijuana). As an example of how they work, methamphetamine consists of one carbon and three oxygen atoms added to amphetamine which is a drug used to treat problems like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Places where Designer Drugs are Sold

Since there are little or no regulations on these drugs (at least when they first come out), they are sold on what’s called the “grey market.” That means they are bought through legal distribution channels but are unauthorized, unofficial or not intended for purchase by the original manufacturer.

Often, this means they can be purchased on the internet, at truck stops or convenience stores off of the highway.

The Effects of Designer Drugs

One of the problems with designer drugs is that they are very addictive. So once a user begins purchasing designer drugs, it can be easy to get hooked and difficult to break away from them. Often, they can be ingested in several ways—snorting, mixing with a beverage, smoked or injected with a needle.

Among the insidious effects of large designer drug ingestions include seizures, kidney failure, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pains, suicidal thoughts and aggression.

Treatment for Designer Drug Addiction

The high can be so intense that users report a complete inability to cease using them. The cravings are impossible to squelch so no matter what the consequences, users need to get more of the substance.

That means treatment for designer drugs can be very tough even bordering on dangerous. It’s very important to select the correct detoxification and treatment program. It needs to be supervised by experienced, medical personnel.

It should include:

  • Thorough assessments of the physical, psychological and social aspects of the individual
  • A customized treatment plan that will thoroughly remove the substance from the body
  • IV-based medication to treat what might be severe withdrawal symptoms
  • 24/7 monitoring using video technology and the appropriate medical personnel
  • Attention to the overall well being of the patient

Breaking free from an addiction to designer drugs can be extremely difficult; especially without help.  Recovery First provides a way out for people struggling with drug abuse. Our professional, empathetic and knowledgeable counselors will set you up with the right program to help you through this serious, potentially dangerous addiction.  Call the number at the top of your screen now for an immediate, free consultation, or fill out the insurance verification form to the right of this page to find out what coverage is available to you.

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Recovery First is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More