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The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs

 In Substance Abuse

Synthetic drugs have increased in popularity among teens and college students. They come from foreign countries and contain chemicals and substances that have not been tested. Often they are sold at new age or convenience stores as a safe or natural substance to smoke or ingest. Emergency room visits have increased due to synthetic drug use often causing patients damage to both the body and the mind.

Popular Synthetic Drugs

These drugs can be found in convenience stores, gasoline stations and purchased online on the Internet. There are many kinds of synthetic drugs. The three most common are party pills or herbal supplements, stimulants, cannabinoids, and bath salts. They are made with synthetic ingredients often ingested, smoked, or burned as incense.

Party Pills and Herbal Supplements

These drugs are often sold as supplements to increase energy and elevate the mood. They are made to be like well know drugs like LSD or Ecstasy. Synthetic drugs are a  copy of an illegal drug. The drug is altered slightly to make it legal. It often contains caffeine, herbs,  plant extracts, and ingredients that are not listed. These drugs are called herbal smoking blends, incense or even bath salts. This allows drug dealers to keep selling the drugs legally. When the dealers learn the ingredients have become illegal, they often come up with new drugs to replace them. They are often called synthetic stimulants.

The symptoms of using these drugs range from hallucinations, violent behavior, headaches, dizziness, to stomach problems.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

These are man-made chemicals similar to TCH found in cannabis. These drugs are made in labs. Many of these drugs are manufactured to resemble marijuana and made to be smoked. Often these strong drugs produce an unexpected reaction.  The makers mix strong chemicals with the marijuana plant.  This drug is called Spice, K2, Black Mamba, and Bliss. It is often sold in packets as incense or potpourri. Anyone can buy them in small novelty stores, gas stations, and online websites. Many older high school students use these drugs.

The symptoms from smoking this drug will be an induced high, dissociation, increased heartbeat, paranoia, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, and a number of medical symptoms.

Bath Salts

These drugs often contain a substance found in the Khat plant an evergreen found in East Africa and southern Arabia. These drugs can cause hallucinations like LSD. They come in powdered form in small plastic containers or foil packages.  Sometimes they are sold in capsules and tablets too.  Those that bath salts mix it with food, smoke it, inject it, or use it in a vaporizer. Bath salts are called by many names.  The side effects on the mind are an addiction to the drug, insomnia,  euphoria,  depression, and nightmares.

Bath salts can cause a skin rash, sweating, high fever, dizziness, headaches, seizures, and long term chronic conditions. Long term use of bath salts leads to damage to the brain, kidneys, and liver. Those with symptoms from synthetic drugs should get professional help.

Treatment for Synthetic Drugs

Those that use synthetic drugs benefit from inpatient detox programs and therapy with trained staff to supervise them while they withdraw from the drugs. Physical and mental symptoms may be unpredictable but can be managed safely in this environment. During the process,  patients may be involved in individual counseling, or group counseling to address emotional and physical symptoms. Other therapies after detox include holistic healing treatments like yoga, swimming, massage, gourmet meals, and recreational activities.

Detox programs often use prescription drugs or injections to control symptoms of withdrawal, so patients can reach a stable place.  Behavior therapy helps patients cope with drug cravings and helps prevent relapse. Patients talk about problems at work and relationships with family members and friend. Sometimes family participates as part of the process.

A good facility after rehab has programs for the patients when they are released back into the community.  Outpatient programs provide patients with daily activities and counseling services. This helps patients that cannot commit to living in a facility. Most outpatient programs meet several hours every day during the week. They meet with trained therapists for individual and group sessions. The patents participate in group activities that help them make the transition back to a normal life. These activities develop skills for work, hobbies, recreation, and social situations for the patients.

Rise in Malibu provides a luxury detox program with many special activities for patients.  The Continue Rising Aftercare Program arranges help for patients with housing when they return to the community. They arrange outpatient care and services needed to help patients cope with the many details of returning to the community. Patients often participate in 12 step support groups and meetings with professional. Rise in Malibu has an effective and supportive in-patient and outpatient therapy program for those that need. Contact us today.

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