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Designer drugs are drugs designed in a laboratory specifically to mimic a particular effect of already-known drugs. They are also called ‘research chemicals’ or ‘New Psychoactive Substances’ (NPS).

What are designer drugs?

The first drugs were always plant-based. Think of opium, cannabis and coffee. The development of chemical knowledge made it possible to reproduce the active substances in plants in a laboratory. If the chemical structures are known, it is also possible to make small changes in them, which in turn can produce a specific effect. Therefore, drugs can be designed.

These ‘designed drugs’ are also called NPS (New Psychoactive Substances), designer drugs or research chemicals. Examples include 2C-I, 4-FA (4-FMP), Benzo Fury (6-APB), mefedron (4-MMC, meow meow; ENG: mephedrone), 3-MMC and methoxetamine (MXE). In addition, there are now hundreds of these substances. Furthermore, many of which can also be divided into different categories (both chemically and in terms of effect). Such a drug may be stimulant, narcotic or have a mind-altering effect.

What well-known designer drugs are there?

There are an awful lot of designer drugs. As you read this article, someone somewhere is developing a new one. Furthermore, not all designer drugs hit the market on a large scale. We have listed the most well-known ones below:

  • 4-MMC (Mephedrone): Also known as ‘meow meow’. Its effects resemble XTC and cocaine. Furthermore, this drug has since been banned.
  • 3-MMC: Also called ‘pussy’ or ‘3m’. The drug was developed as 4-MMC was banned. In addition, it has similar effects as 4-MMC.
  • 4-FA / 4-FMP: A drug that was often used at parties. As its side effects can be very serious, its popularity has declined. Furthermore, the effects are most similar to speed and XTC.
  • 2C-B: This is a so-called trip drug. It makes you hallucinate, your senses experience different stimuli. Moreover, feelings can be experienced more intensely.
  • Cannabinoids: Synthetic substances with a similar action to THC (the active substance in hashish and weed) but with a much stronger effect.
  • GBL: Derived from GHB. GHB is also a synthetically developed drug. GHB occurs in very small amounts in the human body, but the GBL and GHB you can buy are made in a laboratory.

The effects of using those drugs

Depending on the substance, designer medications can have a wide range of adverse effects. Most of the time, these medications result in a “high,” a state of exhilaration and pleasure. They are frequently addictive, which means that without medical assistance and treatment, a person cannot stop using them. These medications’ most frequent negative effects include:

  • Respiration and heart rate drops that raise the possibility of fainting
  • Strong euphoria
  • Memory loss or time dilation
  • Fear strikes
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Unable to fall asleep

Some people may pass out and lose all memory of their experiences. One way that designer medicines can be particularly dangerous is that they can be used as a tool for date rape. Other times, these medicines might result in an instant overdose, necessitating urgent medical attention. can occasionally result in death as well.

The results of using designer drugs can vary from time to time. A person may occasionally have nausea and vomiting. In addition, they may experience seizures. This frequently also results in reckless behavior, a decline in cognitive ability, and legal issues.

Can you get addicted to designer drugs?

Some designer drugs are extremely addictive. We now know this about GHB and GBL, and the media is increasingly full of reports about 3-MMC. We also notice this effect in the clinic, especially during detox.

Because with this drug addiction, a detox prior to treatment is always necessary. The body has become very dependent on the drug because suddenly stopping can be dangerous. This must be done under medical supervision. The craving when the drug wears off is often experienced as very intense. Therefore, the urge for more and increasingly frequent use is enormous. It also appears that the relapse rate into addiction after treatment on these drugs is very high.

Consequences of designer drugs addiction

The most well-known effects of designer pharmaceuticals that are “legally” accessible include violent inclinations, suicides, motor and cognitive dysfunction, inexplicable insanity, overdose, and death. In addition, the fact that these medications have been linked to victimizations like rape or assault, mutilations, accidents, arrests, coma, seizures, nightmares and sleep problems, paranoia, mania, or loss of reason and inhibition controls, as well as other severe physical or mental health conditions, is noteworthy.

The long-term effects of neurological abnormalities, whether or not they are immediately obvious, are virtually always disturbing. Moreover, brain development and designer drug toxicities are undoubtedly concerning issues for abusers under the age of 25 (the group that looks to be most at risk). In addition, individuals put both themselves and others at significant risk by allowing themselves to be vulnerable to the unpredictable effects of designer drugs.

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