More than 30 million Americans have used an illicit substance in the past month, making recreation use and abuse of drugs relatively common in the United States. Illicit drugs include a wide range of substances, such as cocaine, heroin, and designer drugs. Designer drugs are lab-created substances and although some users may think they’re safer, the truth is the dangers of designer drugs are just as severe as other substances.
What makes designer drugs so dangerous is that some of them are legal or were legal at one time. Since designer drugs are largely unregulated, the dangers of designer drugs include experiencing detrimental side effects, like an overdose or psychosis, and addiction.
The Dangers of Designer Drugs
Designer drugs are meant to emulate other substances, like marijuana, amphetamines, and heroin, and are synthetic. Some of the most commonly abused synthetic drugs include:
- K2 and Spice
- Bath salts
Many times, designer drugs are legal to buy and sell, as was the case with substances like bath salts and K2. Even when designer drugs are legal, they are unregulated. This means that one of the dangers of designer drugs is that you don’t know the potential side effects. Many popular designer drugs have stimulating effects which can make you prone to sleep deprivation.
Two other potential dangers of designer drugs are psychological and physical addiction. Since designer drugs cause your brain to release a pleasurable rush of neurotransmitters, your brain associates designer drugs with pleasure. This association changes your pleasure and reward center and causes significant neurotransmitter imbalances. When the effects of your substance of choice wear off, you’re left with a sudden shortage of pleasurable neurotransmitters.
You can experience intense and powerful cravings whenever you’re exposed to triggers, which can be people, places, or things that remind you of your drug of choice. Triggers and cravings can make it difficult to stop using, especially if you experience withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop using.
How Addiction is Treated
Since one of the dangers of designer drugs is that they can lead to addiction, substance abuse treatment is usually needed in order to successfully recover. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs can provide the support and stability you need to learn how to manage your symptoms. Since it can take time for your brain to relearn how to properly release neurotransmitters, you can deal with especially powerful cravings and mood changes during the early stages of sobriety.
Treatment programs utilize both evidence-based and holistic therapies. Evidence-based treatments include things like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectic behavioral therapy and individual counseling. Holistic therapies can help improve your mood and provide you with a healthy way to cope with stress and anxiety.
Starting Treatment Today
Addiction is among the many dangers of designer drugs. When you struggle with an addiction, you can feel alone, frustrated, and hopeless. Finding help is the first step in regaining control over your life. Reach out to us today at 855.786.1978 to find out more about your treatment options.