By slightly altering the chemical make-up of a controlled substance, it is no longer considered to be an illegal substance by the DEA, as the DEA must identify the exact molecular structure of a compound to place it on the controlled substances list. It may take the DEA, and the medical and scientific communities quite some time to realize that a new substance, which is addictive and dangerous has been produced and additional time to identify and classify the substance. Because of their ready availability, synthetic drugs are most commonly used in younger persons, such as teenagers or young adults.
Common Synthetic Drugs
Bath salts induce pleasurable effects similar to those caused by stimulants, such as amphetamine and cocaine. However, they also produce grave side-effects that can cause far-reaching morbidity and mortality, as well as lead to the act of committing heinous crimes. These side-effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts and actions. Bath salts can also cause kidney and liver failure.
Flakka (gravel) is a highly addictive synthetic cathinone (a-PVP) that produces a euphoria like that of amphetamines. The effects of flakka are much greater than those of cocaine or amphetamines. When taken in high quantities, flakka can lead to hallucinations, superhuman strength, suicidal and homicidal behavior and liver and kidney failure. Flakka was first introduced to the U.S. by way of Florida, whose residents import it from China.
Synthetic marijuana creates a high similar to that of naturally grown marijuana, mimicking the chemical structure of THC, the active component in natural marijuana. Side effects include confusion, headache, seizures, agitation, and irritability. Users of synthetic marijuana do not know which exact compound or compounds are in the substance they are using, so the effects may be different each time they use it. Some types of synthetic marijuana can even cause frank paranoia, and create consequential damage to the heart and blood vessels, as well as the brain.
Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment
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