Club and party drugs are often assumed to be safe, but the truth is they can be just as dangerous, addictive and fatal as any other drug. Ecstasy has long been a popular club drug for the euphoric high and the sense of love and belonging that it gives the user. Ecstasy has also caused a number of club-goers to get sick, become drug addicts and even to die. K
now the truth about this party drug before you make a choice to try it. Whether it’s called ecstasy, Molly or MDMA, this drug is dangerous.
Effects Of Ecstasy
Ecstasy is popular as a party drug because of how it affects mood. Users of the drug report feeling a strong surge of euphoria and a sense of love and affection for other people. This combination makes it desirable at raves, clubs and parties. Ecstasy is able to alter mood because it changes levels of chemicals in the brain. These are dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine and they are involved in the regulation of mood.
While changing these chemicals in your brain may make you feel happy and loving, the effects can also be negative. Many people experience negative mood changes with ecstasy, including aggression, paranoia, depression and anger. You may also experience sudden swings between feelings of euphoria and happiness and the more negative emotions and moods.
Ecstasy’s Dangerous Side Effects
In addition to the mood swings caused by ecstasy, there are some frightening side effects you can experience when using this drug. Side effects related to mood, including irritability, depression and anxiety, can last for a week or more after you use the drug. Physical effects are also likely and include extreme thirst, dehydration, and decreased libido, lack of appetite, restlessness, trouble sleeping and nausea.
Although not as addictive as some other drugs, ecstasy use can lead to addiction. If you become addicted to this supposedly harmless party drug, you risk being always in recovery for the rest of your life. And while drug and alcohol treatment success is possible, you can never fully escape the chronic illness of addiction.
The Lie About Molly And MDMA
For MDMA and Molly, drug abuse may seem perfectly safe. Clever drug dealers try to sell these products by claiming they are different than ecstasy. They claim that Molly is pure MDMA and that ecstasy is MDMA with dangerous contaminants. The truth is that the three drugs are the same and that you can never know if you are getting a pure drug (which is still very dangerous) or one that has been contaminated with more dangerous substances. No illegal drug is safe, ever.
If you have been tempted to try a party drug, whether it was MDMA, Molly, Ecstasy or any other substance, you should understand the risks. When you learn the truth about these harmful party drugs, you will feel empowered to say no the next time someone offers you a “safe” party high.
What Is The Deadly New Designer Drug: “Smiles”? – Find Out More Now!
27 Oct 2014
Of all the arguments against decriminalizing cannabis and the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, the one that many have failed to discuss is the possibility of increased access to synthetic marijuana. This lab-produced cannabis has been popular with young people for many years. Although law enforcement has cracked down on synthetic products and lawmakers have tried to outlaw them, synthetic marijuana is making a comeback. Everyone, especially parents of teens and pre-teens, need to know about this drug and how dangerous it is.
What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana, or synthetic cannabis, is a product made in a lab. It is not natural, but it is supposed to mimic the natural cannabis plant. Cannabis contains thousands of compounds, called cannabinoids, which produce the mind-altering effects people seek when smoking pot. There are many ways in which these compounds can be mimicked with lab-made compounds. Many of the fake compounds have been ruled illegal, but the manufacturers can still come up with more options, keeping their products technically legal.
Synthetic Marijuana Dangers
One of the main reasons these synthetic products are so dangerous is because the user never knows exactly what he is getting. Because the product changes so much, it is impossible to know what is in it. In addition to the cannabis-like compounds, there may be any number of other chemicals, and even herbs used to look like dried marijuana. Users have been made very ill from using synthetic products, while some have become addicted and some have even died.
Side Effects Of Synthetic Marijuana
The side effects of synthetic marijuana vary because of the unknown composition of the products, and they can range from mild to severe to fatal. Some of these side effects include:
- severe anxiety
- high blood pressure
- rapid heart rate
- muscle spasms
- suicidal thoughts
- heart attack
Synthetic cannabis has also been seen to cause withdrawal symptoms in frequent users and it can become addictive.
While the use of synthetic marijuana products has dropped overall as laws changed to try to outlaw them, they are making a comeback. One reason may be the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes. These are electronic devices that allow users to “vape” rather than smoke nicotine. They were designed to help smokers quit, but are increasingly being abused. E-cigarettes use vials of liquid with dissolved nicotine. Users exhale only water vapor. Those abusing them are using synthetic cannabinoids in the vials instead of nicotine in order to get a high. The scary thing is that the exhalation doesn’t smell like anything. The user can get high anywhere without anyone realizing it.
Latest Concern Of Synthetic Marijuana
Synthetic marijuana for e-cigarettes is just the latest concern when it comes to synthetic cannabis products. These products have been around for at least a decade and while their popularity was waning, teens are getting back into using them. Synthetic marijuana is no safer than it has ever been and both parents and teens need to be aware of the risks.
If You Are Concerned With Your Teen’s Substance Abuse, Call Us Now – We Are Here For You Anytime, Day Or Night
The effects of synthetic marijuana are as varied as the substances that make up this broad category of drugs. Makers of synthetic marijuana products attempt to create something that is legal and that also mimics the active compounds in cannabis. Of course, most of these manufacturers are more interested in profits than safety and the ill effects of using them are multiple. Popular with young people, these products have finally come to the attention of lawmakers who have attempted to put a stop to their sale. Drug makers always find a way around the laws, however, so it is important for parents and other adults to be aware of synthetic marijuana and how harmful it can be.
What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Fortunately for public health, most of these products have been outlawed, but they have not gone away. Marijuana comes from a plant called cannabis. It contains thousands of natural compounds, some of which have mind-altering abilities. It is for these compounds, called cannabinoids, that people smoke marijuana. They give the user a pleasant, sleepy, relaxed feeling. As a mind-altering, psychoactive product, marijuana is illegal in most places.
In an attempt to profit from the demand for marijuana, manufacturers have developed products that contain synthetic versions of the natural cannabinoids. They spray the formula onto some type of dried plant and sell it as incense, potpourri or even cleaners. These products are labeled in a way that makes it seem as if it is not a drug to be smoked. Of course, the intention is exactly that. Young people are enticed to buy it and smoke it, and then they suffer the synthetic marijuana side effects.
How Is Synthetic Marijuana Dangerous?
Real marijuana poses health risks, but the synthetic versions can be even more harmful. The main problem is that you can never be sure what is in the product. Marijuana is a natural product that is dried to be smoked. Synthetic versions may contain a whole host of compounds that the makers do not reveal. Some of the synthetic marijuana health effects that have been seen in users include anxiety, paranoia, shaking, emotional instability, hallucinations, panic attacks, dizziness, hot flashes and convulsions.
After too many teens and young adults were harmed from using synthetic marijuana products, lawmakers took action to ban the substances used to make them. Unfortunately, there are almost infinite possibilities when it comes to making synthetic variations of cannabinoids. When one substance is banned, drug manufacturers simply come up with another one. In most states, you can no longer buy the products that were disguised as potpourri or herbal smoking blends, but that does not mean synthetic marijuana has disappeared. Some people are still using it and are experiencing the ill effects. Be aware of this lab-produced drug and make sure that your children understand its risks.
Learn More About Synthetic Drugs And Their Dangers!
There is something about the name “synthetic marijuana” that sounds safe. If traditional marijuana is potentially dangerous with risk for abuse, not to mention illegal, certainly the synthetic should be the healthy or at least harmless alternative, right? Not so fast. Read on to educate yourself about synthetic marijuana side effects and dangers.
What Is Synthetic Marijuana?
Synthetic marijuana is one substance from a family of what are known as “designer drugs.” Instead of marijuana in its natural plant form, this is a lab-created product intended to reproduce the high associated with marijuana. By creating a synthetic form of marijuana, producers, dealers and users believed they had landed on a product that would escape government sanction as well as urinalysis.
Known as K2 and spice, synthetic marijuana contains natural herbs that have been sprayed with a cannabinoid substance. While the pot-like high that the drug produces is due to the effect on the body of the same kinds of chemicals found in natural THC, it is not the same. And it is certainly not safer.
Side Effects And Dangers Of Synthetic Marijuana
The effects of synthetic marijuana will, to some degree, mimic traditional marijuana, but with some unique and often unintended consequences. For reasons not completely understood, the effect of smoking marijuana in its natural leaf form is distinct from smoking herbs sprayed with the chemicals contained within marijuana. This has led producers, users and scientists to conclude that there is more to the high and effect of traditional marijuana than the cannibinoids present in THC.
There are several synthetic marijuana dangers that users and potential users are often unaware of. Many individuals will use the drug expecting the results they are accustomed to with traditional marijuana. But with synthetic marijuana, the high is often more potent and completely unpredictable.
The side effects and dangers of synthetic marijuana that many do not anticipate, and that are rarely associated with the use of traditional marijuana, may include:
- various forms of psychosis
- heart attack
even in users who are young and in otherwise good health.
Synthetic weed also carries risk because of the mystery that surrounds its composition. The blend is not proprietary and each blend that a user obtains may contain any mix of unknown chemicals in unknown quantities, producing vastly different results from one high to the next. It is also especially difficult for medical professionals to treat overdoses and adverse effects given that the chemicals contained within the mixture the patient has taken may be unknown and unpredictable.
Synthetic marijuana is not a safe product and its use carries great risk. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction to synthetic marijuana or you are concerned about your use, do not delay in seeking help. Synthetic marijuana is not a harmless, legal substitute for an illegal drug; it carries dangers and side effects that may be far more severe than the drug it was designed to mimic. Withdrawal symptoms can also be powerful and unanticipated and for this reason it is recommended that users and addicts seek the care and supervision of a medical professional and/or a drug rehabilitation treatment program to safely get off and stay off synthetic marijuana.
Find Out How Synthetic Marijuana Use Is Rising Among Troops
24 Jun 2014
Synthetic marijuana dangers are very real and very serious. Although law enforcement has been able to crack down on much of the product, and policy makers have enacted laws to cut back on it, synthetic marijuana is still floating around on the illicit drug market. Many people believe that marijuana is a low-risk drug, especially as attitudes and laws regarding it begin to change. The real drug has its risks and harms, and so does the synthetic version. The truth behind this drug substitute is that it can cause real harm and can lead to addiction.
How Does Synthetic Marijuana Differ From The Real Thing?
Real marijuana is the dried leaves, stems and seeds of a plant called cannabis. The plant contains psychoactive compounds called cannabinoids. Manufacturers of synthetic marijuana attempt to create compounds in a laboratory that are similar enough to the natural cannabinoids to give users the same high as the natural product. There are thousands of natural compounds and even more possibilities for synthetic alternatives. Most synthetic products consist of some type of dried plant material sprayed with a liquid containing the lab-made compounds.
What Are The Health Effects Of Synthetic Marijuana?
When smoked, many of these synthetic products have a similar effect as natural marijuana. They can cause sleepiness and a pleasant sense of relaxation and happiness. Smoking real marijuana poses certain health risks, including aggravating or contributing to lung conditions. The synthetic products can be even more harmful. The reason for this is that the makers do not list everything that comes in their product. There could be any number of dangerous chemicals in it and not knowing what you are smoking is very risky.
Users have reported:
- panic attacks
- hot flashes
- periods of emotional instability
Is Synthetic Marijuana Addictive?
Marijuana is not one of the most addictive of all drugs, but it can be habit-forming, especially when used regularly and frequently. Users of synthetic products also report experiencing withdrawal and cravings when they try to stop. For this often-dubbed gateway drug, rehab is a solution to addiction. Even when an addiction is not full blown, it can be helpful to go through some kind of rehab.
A successful drug rehab program, whether for synthetic marijuana or the natural drug, is one that develops individualized treatment plans for each patient. It should be staffed by caring professionals who are experienced at working with addicts and qualified to do so. The plan should be adaptable to change with the needs of the patient.
Once you know the truth about synthetic marijuana, you will not be tempted to try this harmful drug. Its manufacturers and sellers have gone to great lengths to convince buyers that this product is mostly safe and carries a low risk. Don’t fall for the lies.
Find Out Why ER Visits For Synthetic Marijuana Are Likely To Rise
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02 Apr 2014
Stories of famous athletes caught using performance enhancing steroids have become so numerous as to practically elicit a yawn. But taking steroids to improve muscle size and responsiveness is as unhealthy as it is illegal. Professional athletes take these kinds of drugs intentionally, but others may be taking a form of anabolic steroid without even realizing it.
Identifying Falsely Marketed Steroids
Thousands of American men and women purchase dietary supplements which claim to boost muscle. The supplements claim to be safe and, legally speaking, contain no banned ingredients. However, plenty of these sports supplements contain what are referred to as “designer steroids.”
Designer steroids, like designer drugs, are man-made substances that mimic the effects of known drugs. These chemical compounds are not identical to a certain illegal substance, but they’re similar enough to yield many, if not all, of the same effects. The benefit to designer steroids? They are not technically illegal so they can be sold with impunity. And many consumers have no idea that what they’re taking is essentially the same as a drug the U.S. has banned.
Designer steroids fall just outside the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) list of illegal compounds. Each time the DEA adds a new steroid compound to the list designers simply tweak the recipe enough to remain beyond the reach of the law. But a new bill would include more substances and make fighting these drugs easier.
What Is The DEA Doing About It?
It’s called the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island co-sponsored the bill which aims to close the existing loophole. The Act broadens the power of the DEA by adding 27 new substances to the list of controlled anabolic steroids.
It would also empower the DEA to place newly identified designer steroids on the list on a temporary basis so that swift action could be taken. The substances could then be added permanently to the list of prosecutable substances in due course.
Improving the agility of the DEA is crucial if progress is to be made in turning this problem around. Quick action and certain prosecution are the only things that will deter profiteering from the false marketing of “safe” supplements which, in fact, contain anabolic steroids.
Who’s Helping To Fuel The War Against These Drugs?
Not surprisingly, organizations which deal with the problem of doping and steroid-loaded supplements on a regular basis are one hundred percent behind the new bill. The group which monitors Olympic athletes is just one example of many whose jobs would be made easier if designer steroids were more readily punished.
But even the supplement industry itself has spoken up in favor of the legislation. Representatives of the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the United Natural Products Alliance both publicly supported the move. The integrity of the entire supplement industry is on the line when products are being used to mask the sale of illegal steroids.
The bill will help the DEA keep pace with the makers of these substances. But even as the government strengthens the DEA’s reach in one area, problems in another area are popping up.
A crop of exercise and workout supplements are being laced with compounds quite similar to methamphetamine or amphetamines. People looking for a healthful jolt to rev up their gym time are getting the equivalent of a controlled stimulant drug. This Act does not address the designer stimulant problem. That may require another visit to Capitol Hill.
Read More About Performance Enhancing Drugs-Androgenic Steroids
06 Mar 2014
Smiles is the street name for 2C-I, a potent synthetic hallucinogen that has psychedelic-like effects when ingested. Smiles belongs to the 2C family of compounds which includes another popular synthetic, 2C-B. This class of drugs is closely related to amphetamines, including methamphetamine. Smiles is often sold as a fine white powder or tablet, and is also mixed into candies. It can be snorted, smoked or eaten.
History And Distribution Of 2C-I
2C-I was first synthesized in the 1990s by chemist Alexander Shulgin, who is well known for synthesizing many other popular drugs. Smiles appeared as early as the early 2000’s in the Netherlands as a then-legal alternative to 2C-B, which had just been banned. Smiles was banned shortly after, in 2008, along with other 2C drugs.
The U.S. classified 2C-I as a Schedule I substance (meaning “no accepted medical value” and “high potential for abuse”) in 2012, making it illegal to make, distribute or possess.
The Dangerous Effects Of 2C-I
Some compare 2C-I’s effects to a very potent dose of LSD (acid) or MDMA (Molly) because of hallucinations and a feeling of euphoria. This drug, however, appears to be much more dangerous. Side effects include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle spasms
- Raised blood pressure
- Kidney failure
What Are The Dangers Of 2C-I?
Unlike the more common hallucinogens, such as LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms), which typically do not cause overdoses, 2C-I may cause severe bodily harm, even at small doses. The white powder form of 2C-I is impossible to tell apart from other substances, and it can easily pass off as LSD when mixed into candy or blotting paper, putting casual LSD users at risk of experiencing 2C-I’s more severe side effects, or worse, an overdose. In addition, 2C-I can be difficult to detect by emergency room doctors, with many toxicology tests coming back negative. This could be due, in part, to smiles being laced with other compounds. Like heroin and other synthetics, smiles is notoriously impure. There is currently no established lethal dose of 2C-I, but the drug has been implicated in a number of deaths, both in the U.S. and Europe.
“Smiles” Overdose Tragedies
According to local news reports, in the summer of 2012, 17-year-old Elijah Stai of Park Rapids, Minn., ingested a fatal dose of smiles in a candy bar given to him by a friend. Only an hour later, while hanging out at the local McDonald’s, Stai’s smiles trip took a turn for the worse. His distraught friends and other eyewitnesses describe him acting “possessed”: hyperventilating, making strange sounds and repeatedly hitting his head against the floor. His worried friends took him back home in an attempt to let him calm down and “ride out” the high, but the day ended in tragedy. Less than two hours later, Stai stopped breathing. His story was sadly mirrored by another death in a nearby city just the day before when police found the body of a teen on a sidewalk; he had also suffered a fatal smiles overdose. Police blamed both incidents on a “bad batch” of 2C-I that was circulating on the streets at the time.
The story of the teens serves as a somber reminder of how dangerous synthetic drugs can be. Even if most 2C-I “trips” end without any tragic consequences, there’s no telling how safe the next dose will be, or if it’s even pure 2C-I. Experts are urging extreme caution around these drugs and warn that teens are especially likely to experiment with them.
Read More About The Dangers Of Designer Drugs
Synthetic marijuana is often sold at gas stations with the promise of producing a high similar to that experienced with the real thing. Unfortunately there are many negative health consequences related to its use, and with law enforcement unable to control its distribution, authorities have issued an alert that hospitals should prepare for an influx of synthetic marijuana cases.
Preparations For Increased ER Visits Need To Begin
A recent editorial warned that the number of emergency room visits related to synthetic marijuana has increased in Colorado in recent months. The researchers warn that more will follow, and preparations for such an increase should be a priority. The research was conducted by a team from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment became concerned during late 2013 when they learned of the dramatic increase of visits related to synthetic marijuana use in Denver emergency rooms.
Physical Complaints Of Synthetic Marijuana
Between August 21 and September 19 there were 263 individuals treated in Denver emergency rooms complaining of altered mental state, seizures and an irregular heartbeat. Among these patients, approximately ten percent required admission to an intensive care unit to receive breathing assistance with a ventilator.
Alternate “Innocent-Sounding” Names Of Synthetic Marijuana
Sold under the guise of labels such as incense, herbal smoking blend or potpourri, synthetic marijuana is often peddled in gas stations with brand names such as K2 or Spice. The product is a mixture of plant-based materials, such as dried herbs and spices that are then sprayed with a combination of chemicals that mimics the high of natural marijuana.
Dangerous And Damaging Effects Of Synthetic Marijuana Compared To Natural Marijuana
What troubles public health officials, as well as the researchers involved in this study, is that synthetic marijuana can produce effects that are significantly more potent than those experienced with the use of natural marijuana. In fact, the packaging on synthetic marijuana often warns against human consumption.
Lead author of the study, Andrew Monte, MD, an assistant professor in emergency medicine and medical toxicology at CU School of Medicine, says that its availability masks how dangerous they are. The chemicals in synthetic marijuana can be up to 1,000 times stronger in their binding to cannabis receptors compared to natural marijuana.
The synthetic products can have damaging effects on serotonin levels and other similar types of receptors in the brain. This can lead to strokes, seizures and delirium which require lifesaving measures.
Manufacturers Of Synthetic Marijuana Are Trying To Stay Ahead Of The Law
Synthetic marijuana is not legal, but manufacturers are always working to stay ahead of regulations. Chemical mixes and package design are constantly being altered to slip by the law. The last five years have seen a significant increase in synthetic marijuana use.
Monte says that the outbreaks of emergency treatments related to synthetic marijuana use are likely to continue. He calls for a better way to test the presence of the chemicals, as well as improved communication between medical facilities and public health officials when outbreaks occur.
Determining the substances contained in synthetic marijuana often includes the services of Poison Control. However, when outbreaks occur, it impacts not only the resources of the hospital involved, but also those of the public health departments, environment, law enforcement officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.