What Are Synthetic Drugs and Why Are They So Dangerous?

synthetic drugs

What Are Synthetic Drugs and Why Are They So Dangerous

Years ago, there were only a handful of recognized drugs. Pot, cocaine, heroin and LSD are all substances that have been recognized for generations. In the late 1900s, Molly, ecstasy, and MDMA started getting mixed into things, and new concoctions were born almost daily. What are synthetic drugs today? The answer to that is pretty much anything that your drug dealer decides on.

Today, there are too many synthetic drugs to keep up with. Flakka, Spice, Bath salts, Krokodil the list goes on and on. Each of these “designer” drugs is intended to produce similar feelings like their street drug counterpart, but they are often way more potent and powerful. These drugs are being mixed up by dealers who want to make a lot of money and spend very little. That means that anything they get their hands on might be going into their next batch of drugs. It’s a dangerous recipe that far too often leads to overdose and other terrible consequences. Pretty much any and all chemicals can be found in these drugs.

Taking Synthetic Drugs is like Playing Russian Roulette

Clearly, it is never a smart decision to take drugs. No matter what the substance, you are at the mercy of your drug dealer and their distributor, to make sure you stay alive and well.  Clearly, they don’t care about your well being because they are in this industry for the money. Synthetic drugs bring this to a new extreme because there are absolutely zero natural elements to the drugs you are taking. They are made of toxic chemicals and bring feelings of euphoria and invincibility in some doses, death in others.

Synthetic drugs are suspected in a lot of criminal behavior because of their unique and dangerous qualities. Numerous instances have been in the news where people act out while under the influence of these chemicals. Beyond overdoses, reports of people being violent and even going as far as eating other people in a zombie-like state have been rampant and the cause is almost always synthetic drugs. It’s a scary epidemic that needs to turn around.

To be clear about just how dangerous and harmful the chemicals in these drugs are, here is a breakdown of some of the most common kinds of synthetic drugs and the effects they have.


Otherwise known as “gravel”, is a synthetic drug more dangerous than cocaine. It is associated with violent behavior combined with above-average strength, making it incredibly difficult to subdue a person who is under its influence. Because of the lack of control of what goes into it, a tiny difference can make the difference between getting high or overdosing. Florida seems to be hit hard by this drug, with news reports of people exhibiting extremely violent and “superhuman” behavior while admittedly under the influence.


Spice is a mixture of herbs that have been treated with various chemicals. It is mistakenly perceived as harmless by many because of the fact that there are some natural qualities to it. It is also known as K2, Skunk, and Moon Rocks. It’s often compared to marijuana, but the chemicals that are added to it vary, especially now that it is illegal to use many of the ones that are most commonly found. It can still be sold in convenience stores under the disguise of incense, but its consequences carry a real punch. Especially attractive to teens, many have landed in the hospital after taking a bad dose.

Bath Salts

Well-known for the associated headlines, bath salts are a group of recreational designer drugs. They can be ingested, snorted, smoked, or ingested and the effects of any variation of this drug have been known to be incredibly harmful to humans. They can cause violent and erratic behavior, hallucinations, and a fast and drastic spike in body temperature that can send people right into an overdose. The list doesn’t stop there. Other health issues like heart attack, liver failure, suicide, anxiety, and dehydration can also occur. This drug was a part of the notorious zombie attack in Florida years ago. A man was found eating a homeless person’s face and was unable to be subdued until he was ultimately shot dead.


Krokodil is a particularly frightening drug in a class of its own. While in the same family as morphine, it has only been around since 2002 and is an opioid. It is eight to ten times more potent that morphine and is often mixed with other chemicals to achieve unique effects. It is known as a flesh-eating drug because its chemical components can literally eat a person from the inside out. Injection of this drug leads to the breakdown of muscle tissue, and amputation is often needed. The drug also got its name, the Russian word for crocodile, because it gives heavy users crocodile-like texture on their skin. If this doesn’t have you convinced, do a Google image search on this drug!

These are just a few of the most popular synthetic drugs. Unfortunately, many more exist, and dealers and manufacturers are bound to keep coming up with new combinations.

The Bottom Line: Stay Away from Synthetic Drugs

It’s important to stay away from all drugs, no matter what. Synthetic street drugs and designer drugs are no different. Unfortunately, young people are often drawn to these types of drugs. Teens find it appealing because it is new, relatively unknown, and is thought of as a “cool” thing to do.

If you have a teen in your life that you are concerned may be experimenting with these drugs, educating them on the negative effects is the first and most important step. Chances are they probably aren’t aware of exactly how serious the consequences of these drugs can be.

If you or someone you know is addicted to one of these drugs, it is important to get help as soon as possible. In active addiction, you never know if the next time you experiment will be your last. Don’t chance it. Also, it is possible to stop well before permanent negative effects take a hold of your body and become irreversible.

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