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Synthetic drugs are a broadly-classified group that includes all psychoactive substances created using man-made chemicals. Synthetic drugs can include prescription drugs and illicit drugs like meth, ecstasy and LSD (acid). However, synthetic drugs can also be man-made drugs created using technically legal substances that mimic the effects of more well-known illicit drugs. The intention is to find legal loopholes to produce drugs using ingredients that are easier to find. These synthetic drugs are also sometimes called designer drugs, and they can be extremely dangerous because the effects of the chemicals used to make them are often unpredictable. Designer drugs include synthetic marijuana, also called “K2” or “spice;” krokodil, a less expensive heroin alternative; and an amphetamine cocktail commonly called “bath salts.”

Synthetic Drug Addiction in the Brain and Body

Synthetic drugs can act as depressants, stimulants, hallucinogenics or opioids depending on the type of drug they are intended to copy. The chemicals used in designer drugs work in your brain in much the same way as other drugs; they interact with similar pathways and brain cells to make you feel and act in similar ways. In this regard, they can be abused and addicting in the same way as other drugs. As they interfere with the way your brain works, they can cause you to crave and become dependent on the high. You can experience mental and physical withdrawal symptoms when your high wears off, though it is often difficult to predict withdrawal symptoms from synthetic drugs because they do not contain the same set of substances every time.

This leads to the most critical point about synthetic drugs: these drugs are not the drugs they are created to replace. They use different chemicals and methods to achieve similar highs. These new chemicals are usually not well-researched and can be devastating to your health. The effects of these replicas can be much more potent than the original drugs, sometimes causing extreme reactions and behaviors that result in serious physical harm. When you use synthetic drugs, you run a high risk of becoming a threat to yourself because you do not know what kind of substance you are putting into your body or how you will respond to it.

Treating Synthetic Drug Addiction

Since synthetic drugs are so unpredictable, it is important to treat addiction to these substances in a setting where you will be monitored and kept safe, particularly during detox. You should also seek treatment in a facility that is dedicated to helping you find long-term recovery through therapy and mental health support, since withdrawal symptoms may persist beyond detox and the temptation to relapse may be very high.

At The Springboard Center in Midland, TX, your lifelong recovery is important to us. We ensure that you have the tools you need to transition into a substance-free life and to remain sober even when you leave our programs. In order to ensure that we are meeting your needs, we offer a variety of services that can be adapted to your goals and lifestyle, including:

  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Medically-assisted detox
  • Family counseling
  • Individual and group therapy

When you seek treatment at The Springboard Center, you will have access to high-quality amenities, a skilled and compassionate staff and many opportunities that will help you build a network of people and techniques to keep you substance-free. We believe that every client who comes to us seeking treatment is first and foremost their own person, with individual experiences and needs that will uniquely shape their recovery. It is our mission to help you build a pathway to recovery that will work for you.

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