Synthetic Drug Abuse

Popular New Synthetic Narcotic Drugs of Abuse

Over the last five years, synthetic drug abuse has been on the rise. Whether it’s the potency of these specific drugs or ease of availability, synthetic narcotics are becoming a go to choice for users in the U.K., Australia, Europe, Russia and the U.S.

What are Synthetic Narcotics?

Synthetic narcotics are also known as synthetic drugs, designer drugs, party drugs or club drugs. They are chemically similar to various controlled substances and are developed in a laboratory. They typically affect the central nervous system and cause stimulant, depressant and/or hallucinogenic effects.

A large number of synthetic drugs are unregulated in most counties. Their effects are more or less generalised which means some people will experience unpredictable behaviours as a result of taking the drug. When, or if, government officials make a particular synthetic drug illegal, it’s common for chemists to create a similar drug, but one that is molecularly different so it is legal. This results in a continuous number of new synthetic chemicals being created and released on the market. Even a small modification can produce drastically different effects; thus users will not be able to predict the effects or potentially dangerous side effects. According to US officials, approximately 200-300 synthetic drugs were identified between 2009 and 2014. In Europe, there have been at least 650 of these drugs over the last 10 years; mostly of which were made in China.

Synthetic drugs are most commonly sold on the internet; however there are brick and mortar shops that also sell them. Most of these drugs are labeled as “herbal smoking blends”, “herbal incense”, “plant food”, “bath salts”, or “jewellery cleaner”, and “not for human consumption”. This is done to avoid liable legal consequences in regards to health and safety issues.

It’s important to note that there are legal synthetic narcotics which are deemed as being safe for legal consumption under the direction of a doctor’s order. These include hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, tramadol and dextropropoxyphene. The aforementioned are meant to alleviate pain, and for the sake of this article, we will focus on the designer drugs rather than the legal, prescribed synthetics. The following are new, popular synthetic drugs of 2016.

4-4 DMAR Synthetic Drug

This new synthetic drug is increasingly common in Europe and the U.K. It’s names include 4,4’-DMAR, 4-methyl-euphoria, 4-methyl-U4Euh, 4-M-4-MAR, 4,4-dimethylaminorex or Serotoni. When this article was published 4-4 DMAR was unregulated and not illegal, it has since been classified as a schedule 1 drug and is legal in most jurisdictions. It is an offshoot of the illegal drug, 4-methylaminorex, which is similar to methamphetamine. The drug has stimulant like effects and causes the user to feel highly alert and energised. Its side effects are rather common and include agitation and anger. 4-4DMAR" rel="nofollow">4-4DMA can take over an hour to take effect which leads to some users taking more of the drug. This can result in high body temperature, convulsions, brain swelling, paranoia, psychosis, overdose and death. Mixing this drug with other serotonin boosting substances like MDMA, cocaine, other stimulants and various antidepressants can result in abnormally high serotonin levels and lead to a potentially fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome.

N-Bome Synthetic Drug

N-bome is also known by its longer name: 2C-I-NBOMe. It is a synthetic drug and derivative of the phenethylamine psychedelic 2C-I. It’s also known as 25I or smiles. N-bome is very potent at the smallest levels. Even an amount the size of a piece of table salt is effective. The drug’s effects are not well documented, and it’s not uncommon for N-bome to be sold as LSD – even on similar ‘blotter paper’. The effects last between six and ten hours, include feelings of euphoria, physical stimulation and body sensations. Side effects can include confusion, paranoia, insomnia, nausea, body tremors, high blood pressure and overdose.

Piperazines Designer Drugs

Piperazines are a class of chemical compounds which copy the effects of MDMA. They were considered to be a legal alternative when this article was published in 2016, they are illegal now in most areas and considered a schedule C drug. Common names include BZP, TFMPP, DBZP and mCPP. The effects include an increase in energy, arousal, euphoria and wakefulness. Agitation, stomach pain, irregular heart beat and high body temperature are some of the reported side effects.

AH-7921 Drug

AH-7921 is a synthetic opioid which has only entered the “drug arena” in Europe, Japan and the U.S. in late 2015. However it was synthesised and patented in the mid-1970s. It is being sold as a research chemical because there are no known studies on human beings. The effects are similar to other opioids and include lethargy, euphoria and relaxation. AH-7921 is said to be several times more potent than codeine and at about 80% as potent as morphine. The toxicity of the drug is not yet known, but there is an increasing number of “confirmed cases of severe intoxications and fatalities associated with their consumption in Europe and worldwide “. Risks of taking this synthetic drug may include constipation, severe itching, dizziness, suppression of normal breathing and respiratory arrest.

Is Rehab Needed for Synthetic Drug Abuse

In the case of synthetic drugs, such as those mentioned above, little is known about the long term abuse or addictive properties. It is accepted that other synthetic drugs like bath salts, spice and synthetic cannabinoids do have addictive potentials and rehab is best suited to the user for the most complete treatment. If you are abusing any synthetic drug and are experiencing harsh side effects or withdrawals, a rehab program may be a good option for effective treatment.