Substance abuse has always been scary. From extreme mood swings and violence to physical health problems and mental issues in users, drugs and alcohol have been the cause of destruction for millions of people’s lives. The same fear that has been paired with drugs such as cocaine, LSD and heroin has now spread to a new wave of designer drugs that have yet to gain the same kind of recognition as their predecessors.
Synthetic marijuana has made a splash in the teen and young adult market as of late. Also known as Spice, K2, Yucatan Fire, Skunk and Moon Rocks, synthetic marijuana comes in a small foil bag with an assortment of red, yellow, green and brown herbs that replicate potpourri. It is viewed as regular marijuana on steroids, as its effects mimic that of regular weed but on a more intense level.
Users also report experiencing symptoms such as extreme paranoia and anxiety, as well as physical side effects including increased blood pressure and heart rate. While many of these effects seem to be common in users, there is still little known about synthetic marijuana and all its short and long term effects. What is known is that more people are experimenting with this drug, as the American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported a double increase in their user statistics since 2010 and are currently on trend to see another rise by the end of 2012.
Bath salts are a name for the mixture of drugs that contain the chemical methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV for short. This chemical has psychoactive and stimulant properties, usually resulting in abnormal side effects never before seen in any other drugs.
The biggest cause for concern with the use of bath salts is that because it is man-made, each batch is going to contain a different genetic make-up, leading to a higher risk of injury or death. Other common concerns include:
Also known as Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky and Bliss, bath salts are quickly becoming an addictive and highly dangerous drug on the market. While a physical dependency is less likely to develop, a mental need for the drug is what keeps users coming back for more, as the use promotes the stimulation of dopamine receptors in the brain, resulting in feelings of euphoria in a user.
For years, hallucinogens such as ecstasy and LSD have been popular among the young-adult club-going crowd. Now, with a string of new drugs gaining notoriety, Smiles has become one of the ultimate man-made “rave drugs”.
In a class known as phenethylamines, Smiles is a drug that has a similar structure to that of a stimulant and effects that replicate a combination of both LSD and ecstasy. This enhanced drug can come in powder or solid form, and is banned in the United States primarily because of its unpredictable side effects. Like many other synthetic drugs, Smiles cannot be detected on a drug test, enticing more users chose to use it. Even though it might spark some curiosity in teens and young adults, Smiles is one of the most dangerous synthetic drugs around.
Smiles can provide users with all kinds of effects, however each time they use it, they might encounter a different reaction. Because this drug is man-made, it is never going to have the same consistency. Smiles can produce the following results:
As our society evolves and becomes more hands-on every day, we can expect to see the creation of more powerful drugs such as synthetic marijuana, bath salts and Smiles. The best way to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones from experimenting or becoming addicted to dangerous substances such as these is to stay educated on the topic of substance abuse. It is never too late to get the help you or a loved one needs to protect yourselves from drug use or address an existing addiction.
La Ventana Treatment Programs works with all drug and alcohol addictions, including addictions to drugs that are new on the market. While in our program clients are assisted with the addiction while addressing the underlying issues.
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