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Short and Long-Term Effects of Designer Drugs and How to Seek Appropriate Treatment

Designer drugs, while popular, can have extremely harmful effects. Knowing what symptoms to look for and how to seek treatment is an important part of the healing process. Before we discuss how we provide treatment, we first need to go over the basics.

What Are Designer Drugs?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) explains, “Synthetic drugs, also referred to as designer or club drugs, are chemically-created in a lab to mimic another drug.”

Archives of Toxicology also states that designer drugs typically fall within one of the five drug categories, such as:

Due to the ever-evolving nature of illegal drugs, it’s often hard for professionals and law enforcement to keep up with current trends. As a result, it’s difficult to keep track of new drugs and prevent dangerous trends from spreading.

Names of Designer Drugs

The most commonly used stimulants include:

Commonly used sedatives include:

Dissociatives that are commonly used include:

Synthetic cannabinoids are used in place of marijuana and are often referred to as:

Popular psychedelics include:

How Designer Drugs Affect the Body

The DEA explains, “The resulting designer drugs typically have a new different effect on the brain or behavior. Because these drugs are created in illegal labs, their ingredients and strength are almost impossible to know.”

How each drug affects someone will vary depending on certain factors, such as:

One extremely dangerous reality of designer drugs is that there’s not a surefire way to ensure their purity. When substances are mixed, risks of severe, irreversible side effects like coma, neurological damage, and death become much higher. Unfortunately, people don’t usually know that their drug is not completely pure until the side effects of contamination have already begun.

If you or someone you know is in danger of substance use or overdose, please contact emergency services immediately. Early intervention is key and can be lifesaving.

How Stimulants Affect the Body

According to the journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, “Most designer stimulants are taken intranasally but may be consumed orally or via intravenous or intramuscular injection.” Furthermore, researchers detail the “effects generally start about 10-20 minutes after dosing, peak at 45-90 minutes, last 2-3 hours, and then decrease over 6-12 hours.”

Researchers also state, “Commonly reported effects that overlap with cocaine, amphetamine, and MDMA include:

Archives of Toxicology detail that amphetamines can produce the following serious side effects, including:

Designer Drugs: Sedatives’ Effect on the Body

Drug and Alcohol Dependence researchers explain that opioids are often sought out because they can induce:

However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advises to immediately contact emergency services if a person exhibits ANY of the following symptoms:

The Effects of Dissociative Drugs

Dissociative drugs often make people feel disconnected from their bodies. Side effects can include:

Designer Drugs: Cannabinoids’ Effects

Since synthetic cannabinoids are often cheaper and more easily accessible than marijuana, their reach has expanded drastically within the last few years. Unfortunately, the reason that it’s cheaper is because it is combined with other substances, which makes the effects very dangerous.

Moreover, a publication from Addiction Science & Clinical Practice explains, “Synthetic cannabinoids are primarily smoked via a joint, bowl, or water pipe, although they can be consumed orally or intranasally.” Furthermore, “Effects are reported to start within 10 minutes after inhalation, and most effects appear to dissipate 2-6 hours after use.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes that the common side effects of synthetic cannabinoids may include:

Psychedelics’ Effects on the Body

Similarly, researchers go on to explain that synthetic psychedelics can be found in liquid and powder form, “with many potential routes of administration, including inhalation of vapor, nasal insufflation, oral ingestion, sublingual/buccal administration, and intravenous injection.” Furthermore, they state, “Clinical effects can occur rapidly after nasal use and generally peak in 20 minutes. A wide duration-of-action range of 3-13 hours has been reported.”

Researchers report that the following side effects can occur with synthetic psychedelics, including:

How Sage Recovery Can Help With Treatment

Even though designer drugs can have various effects on different people, here at Sage Recovery we can help you detox, we’re not intimidated by them. Our master’s level clinicians are extensively trained to help people heal, no matter what their history is. We are also experts in providing trauma-informed care, as well as treating co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety and substance use disorder (SUD).

No matter what you’ve been through in your life, we want to help you heal from the hard and celebrate the good. Whether you require outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, or residential treatment, we can help! Your healing journey doesn’t have to be traveled alone. We would love to walk alongside you as you take advantage of our customizable treatment options and learn more about yourself through our innovative techniques, like nature immersion, yoga therapy, and equine therapy. Along with evidence-based techniques such as CBT, DBT, and EMDR, we can help you heal healthily. When you’re ready to begin your journey, reach out to us at (512) 306-1394