Commonly Abused Synthetic Drugs

Common synthetic drugs are often used as a legal alternative to illicit drugs, but these synthetic substances can still be incredibly harmful and often lead to addiction. To get help with overcoming common synthetic drug addictions, contact BlueCrest Recovery online or call 888.292.9652 to learn more about our synthetic drug rehab in New Jersey.

Common Synthetic Substances

Synthetic substances are constantly changing, typically in response to changes in their legal status. These drugs are usually sold at smoke shops or liquor stores and are purchased over the counter. They may be designed to resemble common drugs of abuse. These types of substances are sometimes called “research chemicals,” “legal highs,” or “novel psychoactive substances.”

But as these substances come under the notice of the federal government, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will often crack down on them, making popular synthetic substances illegal to purchase or produce. The companies selling these drugs will then change their formulas, use new ingredients, or start selling a different drug entirely in a seemingly never-ending whack-a-mole battle.

For those who use synthetic drugs, this scenario should cause significant concern. The most common synthetic drugs often have had little scientific research done to understand the extent of their harmful effects, as they haven’t been around long enough for that basic understanding to develop.

Some of the most common synthetic drugs include the following.


Cathinones, sometimes known as “bath salts,” are a commonly misused synthetic substance that mimics the effects of drugs like amphetamines. These drugs are smoked, snorted, taken orally, or injected and can cause several immediate and long-term impacts.

People using cathinones recreationally may do so for the burst of energy and euphoria that can occur when these drugs are taken. However, they also come with significant side effects, such as:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Psychosis
  • Agitation
  • Teeth grinding
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations

There have been several reports of overdoses on cathinones and countless more reports of people who become addicted.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids are laboratory-made drugs meant to replicate the effects of marijuana. Sometimes called “spice” or “K2”, in reference to some of the common brand names of these drugs, these synthetic cannabinoids often have little in common with the drug they are attempting to replicate.

These drugs can often have profoundly different effects than cannabis and a much higher risk of severe health complications and addiction. People who develop an addiction to synthetic cannabinoids will repeatedly need specialized treatment to overcome withdrawals and cravings, which can be particularly powerful.

Novel Benzodiazepines

Novel benzodiazepines are a large group of drugs that fall into the same category as prescription benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. But unlike these pharmaceutical drugs, novel benzodiazepines have little information regarding their safety, effects, or addictive potential. Those who use these drugs may develop addiction, serious side effects, or accidental overdose.

Novel benzodiazepines are sometimes purchased online or found in “pressed pills” purchased on the street. Pressed pills are street drugs meant to resemble prescription drugs, but they can contain novel benzodiazepines, synthetic opioids, or a combination of multiple different drugs instead.

Enroll in Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment at BlueCrest Recovery

Synthetic drug addictions are the wild west of the substance use treatment field. Since so little is known about these substances, there is a substantial gap in the scientific research on how these addictions can be treated and overcome.

But at BlueCrest Recovery, our team has dedicated themselves to helping people overcome the problematic nature of these addictions, break free from withdrawals, and achieve lasting and healthy lives in recovery. To learn more about our synthetic drug rehab, contact our team online or call 888.292.9652.

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