When people hear of the word “synthetic” in something they have to intake into the body, they may automatically assume that the product is harmful to the body. While some are harmful, they are dangerous in ways that not many people may think. For instance, some believe that just because something is synthetic means, it isn’t meant for the body. However, the real danger lies in one thing: addiction.
Synthetic drugs, when referred to by health organizations, aren’t drugs used for medical purposes. The synthetic drugs referred to here are drugs geared towards mimicking natural drugs like cocaine, cannabis, and other drugs of abuse. They have a different chemical structure to the above drugs, and many of the manufacturers change these structures to stay a step above the law.
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the world of synthetic drugs to help you learn more about what it is, the examples of synthetic drugs, and how they can affect your body:
What Exactly Is a Synthetic Drug?
As previously mentioned, a synthetic drug is a human-made drug used to mimic the effects of natural drugs like cannabis. Their chemical structures, however, differ from the real drug. Unfortunately, because of their ever-changing chemical structure, they are marketed to be legal and safe. Despite the classification, however, understand that these drugs are not permitted, nor are they safe. It’s also worth noting that due to how rapidly these synthetic drugs are manufactured and often change in chemical structure, it can be tough to tell just how harmful these drugs can be.
When purchasing a packet of synthetic drugs, no dosages are given, and the drugs can differ chemically from one pack to the next. These drugs, as one may have guessed, are not controlled or regulated. As such, this only means that we may never really know what is in the drugs.
What Other Terms Exist For Synthetic Drugs?
Although referred to as synthetic drugs in this article, many names people use to refer to the drugs that, although distinguishable a while back, are often used interchangeably today. These words include research drugs and designer drugs.
As the name implies, research drugs were types of drugs that were used strictly to be researched. They are often used in labs for testing purposes to study a specific effect, and they are not designed for human consumption.
On the other hand, designer drugs are artificially produced to mimic natural drugs, precisely controlled substances. This is so that the drugs wouldn’t be detected when a drug test is carried out. Synthetic drugs are drugs made in labs to resemble natural drugs, although not having the same chemical structure.
As one can tell, the more closely related term of the two is designer drugs and synthetic drugs. As such, one may hear these two terms used interchangeably when talking about synthetic drugs, although some people may still refer to them as research drugs as well.
What Kind of Synthetic Drugs Are There?
There are tons of synthetic drugs out there, often produced by private laboratories. However, some synthetic drugs are more popular than others, and here are just a few examples of the more popular synthetic drugs one can find that are strictly used for recreational purposes:
- If any synthetic drug anyone heard of before that is extremely popular, it would be crystal meth. Crystal meth is a synthetic version of the stimulant known as methamphetamine and is created through toxic substances like gasoline, sulfur, and other harmful ingredients. Abuse of this drug leads to a whole host of health issues like seizures, convulsions, and depressions. In some cases, it can even end in death.
- Another popular synthetic drug one may have heard of is known as molly. Molly is a synthetic drug created to mimic ecstasy, a stimulant well known to have hallucinogenic effects. Molly is also dangerous because it is often mixed with other harmful chemicals like PCP, methylone, and other drugs, making it much more potent and harmful.
- Smiles, a synthetic drug that mimics LSD, is also a hallucinogenic popular among its users. Unfortunately, this drug has also been found to be prevalent in overdose cases, especially amongst teens. Apart from overdosing, however, the long-term effects of Smiles haven’t yet been fully understood.
- Bath salts are some of the more popular synthetic drugs one can find. While their name may not sound menacing, they’re actually more powerful and dangerous than the drug they are mimicking: cocaine. Bath salts are typically derived from cathinone, a stimulant similar to ephedrine, and other amphetamines are taken from the khat plant in the Middle East.
What Effects Do Synthetic Drugs Have On the Body?
When it comes to the effects of synthetic drugs, we have to talk about the short-term and long-term impact it has to present.
Generally, synthetic drugs are unpredictable. Short-term effects include suicidal tendencies, self-harming behaviors, aggression, seizures, heart attacks, internal organ damage, and more. Another significant risk of synthetic drugs is, because of their addictive nature, the high potential of overdosing. This is the case simply because the chemicals used in creating the drug are typically unknown, and the interaction of the drug from one person to the other can be quite different. That said, these symptoms and risks are only short-term dangers.
When it comes to long-term harm, these drugs can lead to several problems. For instance, prolonged use of synthetic drugs can lead to neurological issues that can end with stroke or seizures. It can even lead to physical discomfort, including headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, and such. It can even lead to long-term psychosis that can cause constant delusions and hallucinations, many of which leave a person paranoid. Finally, it can lead to heart-related problems like irregular heartbeat and increased body temperatures.
The short-term and long-term effects of synthetic drug abuse are potentially dangerous and can even prove fatal. Unfortunately, most case studies of these drugs are generally not well known simply because these drugs are constantly changing, and new ones pop up quickly. In other words, the findings of specific research may only focus on a particular type of drug with a unique chemical structure, while similar drugs that other people use can be altered by then.
As such, data isn’t as reliable when creating conclusions of said synthetic drugs. However, findings have proven over and over that no matter the synthetic drug used for recreation, they are all harmful one way or the other.
Overall, synthetic drugs, when referred to by health organizations, are the drugs typically used for abuse. Addiction to any of these types of drugs, although effects will not be conclusive, will nevertheless never be good. Typical symptoms include behavioral issues that can lead to violent reactions and even suicidal behaviors, and it can also lead to permanent damages to the human body leading to various life-long problems.
As such, if you or someone you know is addicted to any type of synthetic drug, it is highly recommended to seek help immediately. The earlier support is given to anyone under the influence of synthetic drugs, the higher the chances of leaving the doors free from the clutches of these harmful substances.