5 Dangerous New Drugs Everyone Should Know About

Published by Eric Peterson on

Designer drugs are synthetic drugs made to mimic existing controlled substances in order to get around laws such as the Controlled Substances Act. Because these drugs are created and distributed under other labels, such as ‘bath salts’ or ‘plant food’, the restrictions of the Controlled Substances Act often do not apply.

However, this also means many of these drugs are more potent than their standard counterparts. Without the testing that normally go into new drugs, such as prescription pain medication, designer drugs often have undesirable, serious side-effects and a greater risk of overdose.

1. Fentanyl

A synthetic opioid that binds to the same receptors as heroin, fentanyl is at the head of the opioid crisis. Dangerous because of its potency — 3 milligrams of fentanyl is lethal, compared to tehe 30 milligrams of heroin required for the same potency.

Heroin dealers often lace their drugs with fentanyl to increase its potency. This, however, can prove disastrous as users may unknowingly take a deadly dose of fentanyl because the two drugs look identical.

2. Tramadol

Tramadol is a opioid (narcotic) and a controlled substance, carrying high risk for addiction and dependence. Tramadol is associated with a wide array of potential side effects, including nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath.

The dangers of tramadol increase when not taken as directed or prescribed. Side-effects can worsen considerably at higher doses or when used with other drugs. While commonly prescribed for pain management, the illegal sale and high addiction rate of tramadol exacerbate the opioid crisis.

3. K2/Spice

Also known as synthetic cannabinoids based on chemical compounds found in marijuana plants, these drugs are often used as marijuana ‘substitutes’. The greatest danger with synthetic cannabinoids is the lack of quality control present in its production.

Because of this, which drug compounds and how much is present can vary from package to package — potentially introducing severe side effects because of uncontrolled doses. These products also indicate that it is ‘not for human consumption’ in their attempts to maneuver around legal control.

4. 6-MAM

6-Monoacetylmorphine, or 6-MAM, is one active ingredient in heroin. Black tar heroin, in particular, results in a relatively large amount of 6-MAM and therefore is more potent than other forms of heroin.

5. EtG

Ethyl glucuronide is a byproduct of ethanol, which is causes intoxication with alcoholic drinks. Because it is almost always present with ethanol, EtG tests are also used to monitor sobriety.

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