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Over time, however, these synthetic chemicals can often be vastly different from where they originally started. The combination of new substances and other compounds can also cause unintended and potentially dangerous reactions.

What are the Effects of Synthetic Drugs?

The effects of synthetic drugs are entirely dependent on the drug. There are synthetic versions of almost all illicit substances, and each one can have its own harmful effects on the human body. The two most common types of synthetic drugs are synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants.

A synthetic cannabinoid is a drug made to replicate the effects of marijuana. Common “brands” of synthetic cannabinoids include Spice and K2. While these drugs are often smoked and intended to cause the effects of relaxation or euphoria experienced by smoking marijuana, they can also have various harmful effects.

Synthetic cannabinoids can cause paranoia, elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, hallucinations, vomiting, and violent or irrational behavior. Long-term use of synthetic marijuana can cause suicidal thoughts, depression, and memory loss.

Synthetic stimulants are a broader category of human-made drugs designed to give the user an increase in energy in some way. Common synthetic stimulants include bath salts and Molly. Often synthetic stimulants are used as a “club drug,” although they can be even more dangerous when combined with other substances.

Synthetic stimulants are notorious for having nasty side effects. Besides an increase in energy, synthetic stimulants can cause outbursts of violent behavior and delusions or paranoia. This combination of symptoms often causes people on synthetic stimulants to be an immense danger to either themselves or those around them.

Are Synthetic Drugs Illegal?

For the most part, synthetic drugs are not legal. Some synthetic drugs, such as Molly or fentanyl, have always been illegal. The more considerable concern is certain synthetic stimulants or cannabinoids sold under false pretenses to navigate around FDA regulations. Although more prominent during the 2000s, it is still possible to find synthetic drugs in gas stations and other outlets being sold as anything from plant food to cleaning products.

One of the most dangerous aspects of synthetic drugs is their potential availability. In particular, young people are at an extremely high risk of becoming addicted to synthetic drugs because they can sometimes be purchased legally and are usually cheaper than alternative drugs. Among high school seniors, 5% admitted to trying synthetic cannabinoids at least once.

Many people believe that the ability to buy certain synthetic drugs online or in stores suggests that synthetic drugs produce a “safer high” than other illicit drugs. However, this belief is a complete misconception.

The fact that some drugs are available to purchase legally is due to loopholes taken by the manufacturer. It has nothing to do with the dangers associated with using the drug. Synthetic drugs are often just as dangerous, if not more so, than any other drug.

Can You Overdose on Synthetic Drugs?

It is possible to overdose on synthetic drugs. The symptoms and dangers associated with an overdose on a synthetic drug are dependent on the specific substance. An overdose on synthetic cannabinoids can lead to a toxic reaction in the body that could cause vomiting, seizures, stroke, heart palpitations, or a loss of consciousness.

An overdose of certain synthetic stimulants could lead to kidney or liver failure or even death. If you or a loved one are addicted to synthetic drugs, it is crucial to seek medical help as soon as possible. Misconceptions around synthetic drugs may cause people to believe they are safer means of getting high, but the reality is that they can be incredibly dangerous or even fatal.

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