Synthetic drugs are also called “designer drugs.” They are manufactured in laboratories using combinations of ingredients that keep them on the right side of being legal, but this doesn’t mean that these drugs are safe. The labs where synthetic drugs are created are not regulated, and the ingredient list is subject to change.

The user has no idea what type of chemicals they are truly ingesting. The person taking synthetic drugs is vulnerable to unwanted short and long-term physical effects from the synthetic drugs.

Most Common Types of Synthetic Drugs

The three most common types of synthetic drugs available are synthetic cannabinoids (marijuana), synthetic cathinones (Bath Salts) and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

Synthetic cannabinoids are sold under several names, such as: K2, Spice or Bliss. Synthetic cathinones are also called Lady Bubbles or Ivory Wave. MDMA goes by many street names, including Molly, X, E and XTC.

Many people who buy synthetic drugs feel that they are safe because they can be found at a store or a gas station. They can be very dangerous, since they can lead to dependence, addiction and a number of health consequences. In some cases, they can be fatal.

Symptoms of Synthetic Drug Abuse

The signs and symptoms of synthetic drug abuse are different for each person. Some people experience symptoms for a few hours, in others they will go on for days.

• Aggression
• Agitation
• Anxiety
• Chest Pain
• Hallucinations
• Heart Attack
• Heart Palpitations
• Homicidal Tendencies
• Inability to Speak
• Paranoia
• Restlessness
• Sweating
• Suicidal Thoughts/Suicide Attempts

Synthetic drug addiction occurs when a person continues to use the drug despite experiencing negative consequences and harmful, potentially fatal, symptoms.

Synthetic Drug Addiction

Someone who has become addicted to synthetic drugs feels that they must continue using them in order to be able to function normally. If the person stops using their synthetic drug of choice, they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

Synthetic Marijuana

• Anxiety
• Cravings
• Diarrhea
• Hot and/or Cold Flashes
• Nausea and/or Vomiting

Bath Salts

• Depression
• Difficulty Concentrating
• Fatigue
• Memory Problems
• Violent Behavior


• Agitation
• Anxiety
• Insomnia
• Memory Problems
• Mood Swings

Treatment for Synthetic Drug Addiction

Treatment for synthetic drug addiction involves having the addicted person go through a detoxification (detox) process to rid their body from the influence of chemicals. Once this stage has been completed, treatment in an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab facility can begin.

The focus of the drug addiction treatment will be to help the addicted person determine the underlying reasons for the addiction. It also allows them to learn how to develop skills to avoid a relapse and introduces enjoyable hobbies and pastimes into the person’s life.