What Are Designer Drugs? (And How to Notice a Substance Abuse Disorder)
What Are Designer Drugs? (And How to Notice a Substance Abuse Disorder)

What Are Designer Drugs? (And How to Notice a Substance Abuse Disorder)

Designer drug abuse has been on the rise, especially among teens. But what are designer drugs? Here's the science behind them and how to notice a substance abuse disorder.

August 16, 2017

You may have read about so-called "designer drugs" in the news recently. 

Though these dangerous narcotics are addictive and potentially deadly to anyone who takes them, teenagers in particular seem to be at a high risk of abusing designer drugs. 

But what are designer drugs? 

Read on to find out the answer-- and how you can tell if your teen is addicted to them. 

What Are Designer Drugs?

Simply put, designer drugs are essentially chemically-changed versions of common plant-based street drugs like cocaine and marijuana. 

Since these drugs produce a more intense and different type of high than their "original" versions, they're especially popular among the younger, risk-taking set. 

You may have also heard of them referred to as "club drugs." These drugs carry the same enormous risks as all others do. Using them can lead to having seizures, ending up in a coma, and yes, death. 

What Are Some Common Designer Drugs?

Unfortunately, there are lots of different designer drugs available today.

The most common is ecstasy or MDMA, which many teens take at music festivals and at nightclubs to allegedly "enhance" their experience. Many are told that taking ecstasy will make them happier.

It may also make them more likely to make poor decisions when it comes to sex, as it has been linked to reckless sexual behavior. 

Other popular designer drugs include Acid/LSD, Ketamine/Special K, Spice, bath salts, and GHB (also known as the "date rape" drug.)

Is Your Teen Using? 

As a parent, you likely worry about whether or not your child is using drugs. 

The best thing you can do is to keep the option of communication open. Let your teenager know that if they're ever in a bad situation, they can call you to come get them -- no questions asked. 

Also, make sure you talk to your teen about the consequences of these designer drugs. At their age, it may be especially effective to tell them about how drugs can damage their appearance. 

However, sometimes your "talks" aren't enough.

If you notice your teen's grades are slipping, that they aren't taking care of themselves, or if they seem especially exhausted, these are all warning signs of designer drug use. 

The same goes if you notice your child seems to be hungry all the time, has red or bloodshot eyes, or is simply acting strangely. Your teen might also be spending more time out with friends you don't know, or alone up in their room for long periods of time. 

Sometimes, you might even find evidence of drug use in their clothing or in their rooms. If you suspect something, it's not snooping to look through their things -- it's parental responsibility. 

Break The Cycle Today

Now you can answer the question, "What are designer drugs?" But what can you do to get your teenager help? 

Start by familiarizing yourself with the helpful resources on our website. You can learn about local treatment programs, meetings, and more. 

Don't let your teen get caught up in the world of designer drugs. Step in and help them take their life back today.  

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