You’ve probably heard the term “designer drugs” before and, if you’re like most people, you’re likely curious about what, exactly, designer drugs are and about whether someone you know may be at risk of abusing them. Designer drugs are “created” drugs. They are frequently made in homemade “laboratories” and are often derived from known controlled substances. In some cases, they may also be designed with the purpose of mimicking the effects of certain drugs. While designer drugs have become popular in recent years, they are by no means new. If you think back to the 1960s and 1970s, for example, you’ll realize that LSD, which was popular at the time, meets all the criteria for being a “designer drug.”
How Designer Drugs Got Started
As mentioned, designer drugs are certainly not a new invention. In fact, one of the very first designer drugs was morphine, which was isolated from opium back in 1803. Just a few short years later, in 1855, someone created cocaine by extracting the substance from the cocoa leaf. While these drugs may be very common and well known today, they were once drugs that no one had researched or knew anything about. That’s what today’s newly created designer drugs are – dangerous substances about which little is known, including what adverse short-term and long-term effects they may have. Every time a person uses a new designer drug, that person is risking his or her life, health, and overall well-being.
Inventing a Name
While the concept behind designer drugs may not be new, the term itself is much younger. People begin using the phrase “designer drugs” in the early 1980s. Then, it referred to substances that were designed to mimic the effects of heroin, most of which were created using or mimicking the fentanyl molecule. After some time, the term began to be used in reference to ecstasy and, today, it refers to any manmade drugs designed to produce effects similar to those of known drugs. No matter what they’re called, however, the fact remains that “designer drugs” are incredibly dangerous and carry the risk for addiction, overdose and death.
Designer Drugs Today
Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of designer drugs, and very little or nothing at all is known about many of them. New drug inventions crop up regularly, with each drug seeming to be more potent than the last. Some of the most common designer drugs used in the modern world include:
- GHB. This liquid drug can cause feelings of drunkenness, vomiting, coma and overdose. It is commonly used as a “date rape drug.”
- China White. This drug is similar to heroin but much, much stronger and much more deadly.
- Rohypnol. Rohypnol is similar to Valium but more potent; it can be used as a “date rape drug.”
- Ecstasy. This drug is experiencing a resurgence among young people, known for causing hallucinations, feelings of closeness to others, and brain damage.
- YABA. This is a drug taken in pill form that is similar to methamphetamine. The drug produces very long and potentially fatal highs
The drugs discussed above are just a small sampling of the many, many types of designer drugs on the market today. If someone you love is using designer drugs, it shouldn’t matter at all which one; all of them are dangerous and can be deadly. Any use of designer drugs of any kind should be enough to cause you to seek help for your loved one. Call us here at Futures to find out how we can help.