The Dangers of Designer Drugs
Designer drugs are synthetic, illegal drugs produced in underground labs and sold on the street. Many of these drugs are used by teens or youth at dance parties and clubs and are also known as “club drugs”.
Many designer drug users think that the drugs are harmless but they can be extremely dangerous. It is nearly impossible to know the exact amount of what chemicals were used to produce them and they are often used in combination with other drugs or with alcohol which can easily lead to an overdose or in the worst case scenario, death.
The latest in the wave of designer drugs are substances known as bath salts, spice and mephedrone. All three of these are almost synthetic versions of other drugs such as meth, marijuana and mephedrone.
The most common designer drugs are:
- Crystal Meth (crank, speed, Tina, meth, crystal, and jib): Crystal meth is probably one the most common drug in today’s club and rave scene due to the high energy rush it produces.
- Ecstasy (X, E, XTC, Adam, MDMA, rolls): Ecstasy is a drug popular for producing feelings of well-being and emotional closeness as well as a very intense euphoria.
- Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB, G, Gina): GHB is a drug that causes relaxation and sleep. GHB can make people feel like everything is okay with the world and is sometimes described as being a cross between alcohol and ecstasy.
- Ketamine (K, ket, special k, vitamin k, cat valium, horse tranquilizer): Ketamine is a general anesthetic used mainly for veterinary medicine. It is a strong pain reliever that is known to produce out of body experiences.
- Bath salts (Ivory Wave, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky, Bliss): Bath salts produce a similar effect to amphetamine and cocaine. They come in a white powder form and resemble legal bathing products like Epsom salts. Bath salts have a stimulant effect.
- Mephedrone (drone, MCAT): Mephedrone is manufactured in China and is similar to MDMA, amphetamines and cocaine. Mephedrone produces stimulant effects.
- Spice (K2, fake weed, Skunk, Moon Rocks): Spice refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana and that are marketed as “safe”.
The dangers of designer drugs such as meth, ecstasy, GHB and ketamine are numerous. Some of the dangers of designer drug are:
- criminal charges and prison terms
- heart and breathing failure
- blood vessel damage and stroke
- raised or lowered pulse or blood pressure
- aggressive or suicidal behavior
- jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle cramping or seizures
- panic attacks or feeling paranoid
- overheating and dehydration
- blackouts or passing out
- Anxiety or paranoia
The only way to avoid all the dangers of designer drugs is to not use designer drugs. The reason designer drugs are so dangerous are because:
- It hard to know the strength of a designer drug or if it has been cut with other chemicals especially if the drugs have been bought from unfamiliar suppliers or places.
- Mixing drugs, including alcohol, increases the risk of overdose or death. Boosting (taking more of the drug while already high) is even riskier.
- Little is known about the long-term effects of regular designer drug use. Any designer drug can be addictive or have very negative effects in the long run.
- Designer drugs can affect your ability to make smart decisions and avoid danger. A safe environment with trusted friends or someone who is sober being around can reduce the danger but still bad things can happen.
- Driving a vehicle while on designer drugs is highly dangerous.