Designer Drugs

We live in a world of endless technological experimentation. Unfortunately, this is true for the world of addictive and illegal drugs as well. Addiction to designer drugs can have serious, potentially fatal consequences. If you or someone you love is struggling with a chemical dependency on designer drugs, don’t wait. Call our team here at Northbound Treatment Services today.

What are Designer Drugs?

Designer drugs, also known as “club drugs”, are psychoactive drugs that have been modified. While they may share similar properties to more traditional drugs, like heroin or meth; they are no longer recognized as such. With synthetic drugs like spice, GHB, and bath salts, the basic formula has been changed in some way. Perhaps this is done to enhance the effects of euphoria or to alter the effect of energy levels.

Spice is a synthetic drug with effects that mimic marijuana, while bath salts’ effects mimic those of methamphetamine. The chemical make-up of a designer drug is meant to create a longer-lasting and more “productive” effect. However, since this is the case, the negative effects are generally enhanced as well. This means a faster rate of addiction and a higher risk of serious, long-term physical damage. With a wide variety of unpredictable negative physical and mental effects, designer drugs pose a new kind of threat to the chronic user. From interactions to the risk of overdose, the dangers are too numerous to name. In the case of dependency on designer drugs, it is critical to seek help immediately.

Some common types of designer drugs include the following:

  • LSD
  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • Rohypnol
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Flakka (alpha-PVP)
  • Methamphetamine (Meth)

We’ll explain some of these designer drugs below. 

What is LSD and How Does it Affect People?

Many people call LSD “acid”. Regardless of the name, this drug is highly dangerous and can cause very serious effects on those who use it. LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogen. Initially, professionals used this drug for research purposes as well as psychiatric therapy. But, in the 1980s, professionals began to see this drug as valueless as far as therapeutic qualities were concerned.

Also known as a “club drug”, LSD is commonly used and abused by younger individuals. Unfortunately, many teenagers and 20-somethings use this drug. Acid use commonly occurs in social settings, such as parties and so forth. 

Again, lysergic acid diethylamide is a hallucinogen. So, its effects are certainly difficult to ignore. This drug often causes users to experience hallucinations and many people who use LSD tend to escape from reality upon use.

The effects of LSD tend to last anywhere between 8 and 10 hours. Normally, around the 4th hour after use, the effects of LSD reach their peak. Some of the short-term and long-term effects of LSD use include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Enhanced senses
  • Delusional thinking

Individuals who use LSD may begin to experience excitement and mood changes. Sometimes, people have difficulty with depth perception as a result of acid use. After using this substance for a while, individuals may begin to experience unpleasant long-term effects

This drug is commonly thought of as non-addictive. However, the negative effects of LSD use are hard to deny. Some individuals who abuse LSD for a while eventually develop problems with paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, and mood swings.

Information Concerning Ecstasy

“Ecstasy” is another name for 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). It’s a Schedule I drug. That means the government does not believe it has any medical value and is likely to lead to addiction. Unfortunately, ecstasy use is quite common among younger individuals. It’s often found among college students and it is known as a “party drug”. 

Ecstasy may come in the form of pills, capsules, or tablets. MDMA enters the bloodstream within about 15 minutes of use. It then reaches the brain and affects the individual in various ways. 

MDMA heightens the activity of several chemicals within the brain, including norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. All of these chemicals have very important roles within the brain and body. Dopamine is one of the chemicals responsible for controlling pleasure and other sensations, motivation, movement, emotions. Serotonin is responsible for controlling one’s sleep, pain reception, mood, and sexual activity. Finally, norepinephrine affects one’s blood pressure and heart rate.

When a person uses MDMA, these chemicals increase in activity, causing some of the effects of the drug to be less-than-pleasurable. Many people experience anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance. Individuals who abuse this drug may also be at risk for unsafe sex and other dangerous activities. Here are some of the other effects of MDMA use:

  • Chills
  • Energy
  • Paranoia
  • Euphoria
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle tension
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased temperature

Long-term ecstasy use can lead to serious issues. These include kidney problems, hemorrhaging, symptoms of psychosis, memory loss, and much more.

About GHB and Its Impact on Those Who Use It

Gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB, is a depressant drug. It affects the central nervous system (CNS). Since GHB is a depressant, it slows down the activity and functionality of the CNS, causing individuals to experience sedative effects. Usually, this drug is found in liquid form and is commonly called “liquid ecstasy”. But, it also comes in the form of a white, powdery substance.

Unfortunately, this drug has a reputation for being a dangerous date rape drug. Often, ill-meaning individuals sedate unsuspecting party-goers or date attendees with GHB. Its sedative properties make it quite popular among sexual predators, as it allows these individuals to incapacitate and weaken their victims. In many sexual violation cases that involve GHB, predators put the substance in a beverage or gave it to their victims using some other method.

GHB causes euphoric and sedative results. Most individuals who abuse this drug do so because they are drawn to those specific effects. Some of the other effects people may experience when using GHB are not so pleasant, however. They might include:

  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Delusions
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations

Also, there is a risk for unconsciousness when GHB use is involved. Individuals who use this drug may also experience slowed or shallow breathing. In some severe situations, individuals may even stop breathing altogether. GHB can also cause people to experience lowered blood pressure. Coma and even death may occur as a result of GHB use.

It’s certainly possible for those who use this drug to eventually begin to depend on it. It is also possible for people to develop an addiction to GHB. 

What is Methamphetamine?

Commonly known as “meth”, methamphetamine is a stimulant drug. Meth stimulates the CNS, causing users to feel a rush of euphoria and pleasure upon use. The drug causes the body to produce excessive amounts of dopamine, a chemical responsible for pleasure, memory, motivation, and more. As a result of 

Initially, methamphetamine was prescribed by medical professionals for various treatment purposes. For example, some individuals used the drug to help with weight loss. It was also prescribed as a decongestant. But, because of meth’s stimulant effects, people began to abuse it. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration classified methamphetamine as a Schedule II controlled drug.

Those who use meth often do so by smoking it, snorting it, or injecting it. Many people do not see meth as an extremely powerful or addictive drug, it can certainly have some negative effects on users. Also, in many cases, drug dealers mix meth with other substances, making the drug stronger and more addictive.

Some of the effects of meth use are:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Heightened alertness

After using meth for a while, many people suffer from physical health issues. Snorting meth can cause damage to the nasal area. Individuals who inject meth may become susceptible to infections and diseases. This happens often in cases where people use shared needles.

Addiction and the First Steps to Recovery

Health and detoxification are our first concerns when a new client enters Northbound with an addiction to designer drugs. Our oneEighty detox program is designed to allow clients to work through detoxification and withdrawal in a safe, comfortable environment where they can receive 24-hour care.

However, it is our individualized approach to helping victims of addiction to synthetic drugs that makes Northbound stand out. Our clinical staff will create a customized treatment plan that takes into account the client’s unique needs. Furthermore, we can simultaneously treat any co-occurring disorders that might otherwise hinder the recovery process. In addition, Northbound offers a variety of specialized programs, including gender-specific counseling and facilities, our Christian LINKS program for additional spiritual nurturing, Northbound Academy for college-aged addicts seeking help during their academic time, and a Transitional program for those who have work requirements.

We provide help and healing as we challenge the client to make a real and meaningful change. Addiction does not have to be a way of life and can become just a small part of your past. Northbound counselors and case managers work hand in hand to ensure progress and meaningful encounters. Our therapies include a strong emphasis on experiential therapy, allowing us to utilize the beautiful coastal setting as a therapeutic tool.

Social Reintegration

The goal of our designer drug addiction treatment center in Orange County is to set our clients up for successful long-term sobriety. This requires us to consistently allow clients to encounter old triggers in a safe setting. In this way, we can help teach trigger avoidance techniques and coping skills. In addition, Life-skills courses such as finance, emotional management, and balanced living allow us to encourage clients in an addiction-free life. With these tools and the support network formed in our aftercare program, our clients are able to reenter the world with a new, healthy outlook on life.

Get Addiction Treatment for Designer Drugs at Northbound

Addiction to designer drugs can have serious, potentially fatal consequences. If you or someone you love is struggling with a chemical dependency on designer drugs, don’t wait. Call Northbound today. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to answer questions and help you, even in the darkest hour of addiction. Contact Northbound by calling (866) 311-0003 and let us help you start living sober.

Northbound’s designer drug addiction rehab program in Orange County provides the fully integrated treatment that clients need to overcome addiction and co-occurring disorders. A team of providers works with clients one-on-one and in group settings to address substance use and mental health challenges that impact recovery. Clients receive the personalized care and treatment they need to make positive changes in their lives, reduce the risk for relapse, and learn how to truly thrive in recovery.

References:

https://www.dea.gov/taxonomy/term/341

https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/LSD_Facts_Sheet.pdf

https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs4/4532/4532p.pdf

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/meth.pdf#search=methamphetamine

https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly

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