New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a range of drugs designed to mimic illicit drugs, such as cocaine, cannabis, etc. Overall, they are known by a variety of names, such as synthetic drugs, legal highs and designer drugs, and are made of man-made chemicals instead of natural products.
Overall, “synthetic marijuana” (spice or K2), “synthetic stimulants” (bath salts) and a drug known as “N-bomb” are some of the common designer drugs. As these drugs trigger similar psychoactive effects as caused by illicit drugs, it can prove to be dangerous and even lethal, especially in the case of overdoses.
As such, NPS are available in many forms, such as powder, pills and synthetic cannabis. Although there is a word “new” in their name, some of these drugs have been in the market for decades. They are often sold under different names, such as those mentioned above, to hide their unhealthy and undesirable effects. They are wrongly marked as a safer or legal alternative to illicit drugs; however, the fact of the matter is that they are neither technically legal nor naturally safe for use.
Understanding proliferation and harmful effects of NPS
Overall, synthetic drugs are seen as just a way to alter the chemical combination of original drugs to surpass the legal obstacles of selling such drugs. The active ingredients of these drugs are synthetic chemicals with harmful toxic effects. They widely vary in terms of actual ingredients and may contain any chemical that triggers similar effects as produced by illicit drugs. Therefore, no two different types of designer drugs are same. In fact, the manufacturers constantly try replacing the banned chemicals by developing newer ones.
In fact, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its World Drug Report 2015 highlighted that around 95 countries across the world have reported the presence of 541 NPS, with synthetic cannabinoids taking the highest share of 39 percent, followed by phenethylamines at 18 per cent and synthetic cathinones at 15 per cent. Moreover, around 450 substances were reported in 2014, out of which 69 were a part of the list for the first time. With such an increase of NPS, it can be inferred that the market is getting diversified due to rapid proliferation of such drugs among current or potential users.
However, the ingredients and effects of such drugs are unpredictable as they are constantly changing in terms of variety of chemicals used in manufacturing that is devoid of quality controls and government regulations. Overall, the major effects of NPS include severe agitation and anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia (uncontrolled heartbeat), high blood pressure, tremors and seizures, hallucinations, constricted pupils, and suicidal and other harmful thoughts and/or activities.
As in the case of cocaine, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and methamphetamine, synthetic drugs can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest pain, extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and aggressive behavior, which can cause harm to both the users and those around them.
Quitting not about giving up, rather about focusing on better things
While NPS are dangerous, as well as highly addictive in nature, it is possible to quit an addiction to these drugs. A professional detox program can effectively take care of people facing mental and physical problems due to the abuse of synthetic drugs, as well as cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.
The treatment, however, needs a professional setting to avoid a relapse or cravings to reuse such drugs. Overall, detox may also include medications to enable the patients to achieve sobriety and alleviate the effects of these dangerous drugs.
If you or your loved one has inadvertently developed an addiction to any kind of drugs, connect to the California Detox Helpline to get connected to one of the best detox and rehab centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 or chat online to know more about the best rehab centers in California.