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Article Summary

A Comprehensive Look At Designer Drug Addiction

Designer drugs are synthetic, illegal drugs. They are made in labs then sold on the streets. The users of most designer drugs are young adults and youths, usually taking them in clubs and dance parties. Experts use the term 'designer drug' to refer to drugs similar to the existing drugs but have a more complicated chemical structure.

Why Are They Dangerous

Users think that these drugs are harmless, but they are very dangerous. The reasons are numerous. For one, it is hard to tell for sure what chemicals are used in their production. The drugs are also used together with alcohol and other drugs which could have devastating results.

They are highly addictive. After the first use, it is easy to get hooked to them. Teens are vulnerable to the scheme. They easily obtain the packages online and since most parents are not aware of them, it is easy to avoid scrutiny.

Why The Increased Popularity?

The widespread use of these drugs can be attributed to various reasons. Some even speculate it is due to brilliant marketing strategies. Most chemicals used in producing them have been outlawed making it easy for the lawless criminals to promote the drugs as alternatives to traditional drugs.

Standard drug tests do not usually detect these drugs. People may be attracted to them in an attempt to avoid suspicion. They are easy and cheap to obtain. Many head shops do not restrict any age from entering and making a purchase.

The Common Designer Drugs

Most of the drugs causing designer drug addiction have enticing names intended to attract people to use them. Some of them are:

1. Ecstasy: also goes by the name Adam, MDMA, E, X. Users take the drug in order to generally feel well and emotionally closeness.

2. Crystal meth: also referred to as jib, meth, speed and crank. It produces high-energy rush, that is why it is common in clubs and rave scenes.

3. Ketamine: commonly called vitamin K, K, special K, ket and cat valium. It is known as a strong pain reliever.

4. Gamma hydroxybutyrate: also referred to as G or GHB. This drug causes relaxation and sleep. People take it to feel at ease. At times it is described as the cross between ecstasy and alcohol.

Signs and symptoms

An addict to designer drugs may portray similar symptoms as others addicted to different drugs. The various symptoms are:

  • Changes in ones personality
  • Spending household money on drugs
  • One becomes defensive about drug use
  • Isolation from friends and family members
  • One stops going to school or work so as to use drugs
  • The friends are also drug users
  • One tends to be sad, angry or depressed at most times

The major red flags that someone is using drugs are discarded vials that have white powder traces, one in possession of pipes, syringes and inhalers and has delusional behavior.

The Dangers

Just like other drugs, it is a mind altering substance that causes psychotic breaks, violent behavior and suicide. Many users exhibit erratic, violent behavior which can pose a danger to others.

Designer drugs have the unusual ability to keep someone high even for days. The high usually drives most to madness as at times it includes vivid hallucinations, hypothermia, panic attacks and psychotic behavior. These incidents sometimes result in suicide.

Other risks involved are heart and breathing failure, criminal charges, blood vessel damage, raised or reduced pulse blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, jaw clenching and muscle cramping or seizures

Effects Of Abuse

Designer drugs alter different parts of the brain's circuitry producing various kinds of symptoms. People develop life-threatening forms of paranoia and increased sense of strength as well.

People suffering designer drug addiction may take very high doses so as to feel the desired effect. After a while, their body is used to the standard dose and may have no effect at all. Increasing the amount of intake every time will pose a major risk of overdose. Even the 'beginners' can overdose in case they use a package whose ingredients are more powerful than what they are used to. People have been overdosing on these drugs for this reason.

Undergoing Treatment

Families should not feel helpless when they realize these signs. Treatment for addiction can be of great help. You have to help the addict understand how he or she got into drug abuse and what needs to be done so as to keep the habit from returning in future.

Counseling and support group meetings play an important role. Contacting rehab centers should help in crafting programs for the addict to successfully follow to recovery. Rehabilitation enables one to learn how to live life without turning to such detrimental remedies to problems in life.

Treatment for overdose

Doctors employ use of anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax and Valium. It is expected to alleviate the harmful effects immediately. However, one can turn to dependency on the anti-anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines. A nutritional program for restoring the deficiencies resulting from the toxins should be set to avoid possible addiction to the prescription drugs.

Addiction treatment

Vitamin therapy or a good nutritional program is necessary for the purification process. Handling the underlying reasons that made one result in taking drugs in the first place is essential. The addict needs to be taught how to improve life in order to reduce the need to look for such drugs.

There are increased health concerns resulting from use of these drugs. Dangerous side effects are being reported in poison control centers and emergency room visits. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has responded to the health threat by taking an emergency action to control the chemical compounds used in producing them. However, it is important to keep safe. This is by staying off these harmful drugs. There are a number of reasons to avoid designer drug addiction:

  1. It is impossible to tell a drug's strength or if it is a composition of many chemicals as the suppliers are unfamiliar.
  2. There is little information about long-term use, but any drug can lead to addiction resulting in adverse effects.
  3. Mixing drugs is very risky and it increases the risk of death or overdose. Boosting, which is taking large amounts when high, is even worse.
  4. Drugs affect ones ability to recognize danger and to make good decisions.

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