Category: Synthetic Drug Abuse

Information about synthetic drug abuse and the harmful effects it can cause, signs and symptoms of abuse and how you can get help at Narconon Fresh Start for someone who is addicted to synthetic drugs.

Synthetic Drugs: Legal, Tempting and Life-Threatening

Synthetic Drug ChemicalsSynthetic drugs contain man made chemicals that produce similar effects of illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and methamphetamine. The chemical structure in synthetic drugs are altered to avoid law restrictions and are sold on the internet or at gas stations and smoke shops under different names.

Why Users Turn to Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are tempting to users because they are cheaper and most often can’t be detected in a urine test. They also come across as safe to use since they are found online and in stores. The truth is that these drugs are very harmful and dangerous. The effects that synthetic drugs can have on a person are unpredictable because the chemicals that are used are always changing. Pills, powders and dried herbs are soaked in these man made chemicals and can be very damaging to the body and mind and even fatal.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic CannabinoidsThese are dried plants and/or marijuana that are sprayed with chemicals and then smoked. The chemical can even come as a liquid form that can be vaporized in an e-cigerette. It’s about four times stronger than marijuana.

Are Synthetic Cannabinoids Addictive?

Yes, people can become addicted. Users who try to quit may experience withdrawal symptoms which may include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety

Harmful Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids

Smoking Synthetic MarijuanaMany users have been rushed to the emergency room and have even died from using synthetic cannabinoids. Some of the harmful effects include:

  • Altered perceptions
  • Detachment from reality
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Violent behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Heart damage
  • Kidney damage

Street Names for Synthetic Marijuana

There are over 500 different street names and brand names for synthetic marijuana. Here are some of the most common names:

  • Spice
  • K2
  • Spice Diamond
  • Solar Flare
  • Dark Night

Synthetic Cathinones

Cathinones Bath SaltsSynthetic cathinones are usually sold as bath salts and marketed as substitutes for methamphetamine and cocaine. The effects are much stronger and, in many cases, very dangerous. It’s usually in the form of brown or white crystal-like powder and sold in small plastic packages labeled, “Not for Human Consumption.” Users typically smoke, snort, inject or even swallow synthetic cathinones.

Are Synthetic Cathinones Addictive?

Yes, synthetic cathinones are highly addictive. Users have reported having very intense cravings to use the drug again. Animal studies have even shown that rats will self-administer the drug over and over again. Users who try to quit can experience strong withdrawal symptoms which include:

  • Paranoia
  • Problems sleeping
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety

Harmful Effects of Synthetic Cathinones

Snorting CathinonesPeople have lost limbs after injecting synthetic cathinones from a flesh-destroying infection. People have been known to strip off their clothes, commit suicide, act out violently and murder others. The chemicals in these synthetic drugs are so toxic that they can lead to a breakdown of skeletal muscle tissues and organs. Some of the harmful effects include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Excited delirium
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Homicidal behavior
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Heart damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure

Street Names for Synthetic Cathinones

There are many different street names and brand names for synthetic cathinones. Here are some common names:

  • Flakka
  • Cloud Nine
  • Blue Silk
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Plant Food

Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Drug Use

Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Drug UseThere’s a wide range of signs and symptoms of synthetic drug use. The chemicals are always being altered and each user may experience different effects. Here are several signs and symptoms that can determine if someone has been using synthetic drugs:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Seizures
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Inability to speak
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Tearing off clothes
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Self-destructive behavior

These symptoms can last for either hours or, in some cases, even days. Users will usually continue to use despite the harm that is being done since these synthetic drugs are addictive.

What to do if Someone is Using Synthetic Drugs

Recovery from DrugsThough these drugs can cause severe effects to a person’s mind and body, Narconon Fresh Start is able to help repair the damage by flushing the harmful drug toxins out of the body and addressing the cause of addiction and restoring the person’s personal values and integrity. Each week, many people complete the Narconon Fresh Start program and return to a productive and successful member of society without ever having to turn to drugs again.

Call a rehab specialist today and go over your treatment options if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction.


Learn about the new W-18 Synthetic Drug that is 100 times more powerful than than fentanyl and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Pump-It Powder

Pump It Powder Synthetic DrugPump-It powder is a synthetic drug that is sold over the internet and widely available in gas stations and novelty stores.

As the demand for substances that alter the user’s senses continues to escalate, a new drug has found a place in the synthetic drug market. Pump-It powder is the new synthetic drug created from “enhanced plant vitamin” that gets its name from the stimulating effects it creates in the user. Thought to contain Geranamine, also known as methylhexanamine, a dated amphetamine-related stimulant and decongestant that is found naturally in the geranium plant. Currently, methylhexanamine is a legal substance and is not scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency. There are not been many studies done on methylhexanamine since it was patented in 1944. Methylhexanamine is known to be a key component in many energy drinks and aphrodisiac mixtures. While many users of Pump-It powder report that the effects of the substance are similar to methylhexanamine, they also note that the drugs effects are similar to pre-ban bath salts containing methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV is a psychoactive recreational drug with stimulant properties). Because Pump-It powder and other synthetic drugs are manufactured using secret formulas, it remains unclear what is actually in the final product that is sold to the general public.

Recently, emergency rooms have been seeing Pump-It powder user’s being admitted for care due to seizures, hallucinations and paranoia. User’s of this substance report that the effects are similar to, but more intense than cocaine and meth. Currently, Pump-It powder use seems to be primarily in the Midwest and plain states. It appears this drug has not gained popularity on the Pacific Coast, as of yet. Obtaining this drug is relatively easy as it can be purchased over the internet, in gas stations and novelty stores. Users of Pump-It powder administer the drug by snorting it, injecting it or smoking it. Because its effects are somewhat time delayed, users often misjudge when the effects of the drug will come on and wind up taking double or even triple the dose. These higher doses lead to intensified effects and are often the reason behind user’s needing medical treatment. On average, a typical dose of Pump-It powder will create effects in the user for 4-6 hours, but there are users who have claimed the drug’s effects lasted 12 hours or longer. The duration of the effects from Pump-It powder appear to be determined by how much of the substance the user’s ingests.

Call the Narconon Fresh Start rehab help line to find out how our program can save a loved one’s life from drug addiction.

Bath Salts Use Declining

Synthetic CathinonesThe American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has released their most up to date information on Bath Salts (synthetic cathinones) abuse. In it they go over the past several years abuse trends. In 2010, there were a mere 306 cases of bath salts use reported to the AAPCC. 2011 saw the highest number of bath salts abuse with 6,137 reported cases to the AAPCC. The number of cases dramatically dropped by half in 2012 to 2,691 cases of bath salts abuse and in 2013 the AAPCC has seen only 833 cases of bath salts abuse this year. While the year is not over yet, it is safe to say that the number of people abusing this powerful synthetic cathinones will not exceed last years. It appears the word is out about the dangers of this drug and more and more people are steering clear of it.

Krokodil – An Up and Coming Synthetic Heroin

One of the trending synthetic drugs of abuse during 2013 is known as “Krokodil”; a highly toxic homemade opioid. Until recently this drug was used primarily in Russia as cheap substitute for heroin in lower economic areas. During 2013 reports of Krokodil use here in the U.S. began to surface from various news sources. However, as of yet the DEA has not yet confirmed the presence of Krokodil here in America. As a synthetic form of heroin, this substance is not only very addictive but highly toxic to its users.

It is created from extremely noxious chemicals and is made by combining codeine tablets with various toxic chemicals including lighter fluid and industrial cleaners. Krokodil’s affects the user’s brain in a similar way to heroin but is considered more powerful with a shorter duration. One of the most interesting, yet highly concerning facts about Krokodil (the Russian word for crocodile) is how it got its name. The name comes from the fact that when the user injects the drug it causes scaly, gray-green skin to form at their injection site. The user’s flesh is destroyed and dies due to the drug. From there the user’s skin will become gangrenous – with the worst case scenario being limb amputation to save the drug user’s life.

Synthetic Marijuana Predominately Abused by Young Males

Synthetic CannabinoidsOver the last few years you may have heard of synthetic marijuana/synthetic cannabinoids, also known as “Spice” or “K2”. Since arriving on the drug scene this dangerous substance has become the second most popular illicit drug among American teens, after actual marijuana. Statistics show that synthetic marijuana is especially prevalent among teen boys. In 2012, 11% of American high school seniors acknowledged using synthetic marijuana in the past year. Until recently, synthetic marijuana was hyped as a natural or safe alternative to actual marijuana. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This drug is very un-natural and is part of a class of designer chemicals that have begun to pose a serious threat to drug users young and old. Since being on the market, synthetic marijuana has landed thousands of young adults and teens (mostly young men) in the emergency room. They arrive suffering from severe symptoms including vomiting, racing heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, seizures and hallucinations. In 2010, there were 11,406 ER visits associated with synthetic marijuana: 75% were between the ages of 12-29 years old, 22.5% were females and 77.5% were males.

Designer chemical drugs such as synthetic marijuana (i.e. Spice and K2) along with others like synthetic cocaine (i.e. Bath Salts and Plant Food) and synthetic opioids (i.e. China White) are taking the country by storm. More and more teens and young adults are experimenting with these deadly substances in an attempt to get high. For many, their recreational drug use often spirals into abuse and then addiction leaving them without the resources they need to stop using once and for all. Narconon Fresh Start is a network of exceptionally successful drug rehab programs that can do more than just help an addict get off the drugs they are addicted to, they can help them uncover and resolve the underlying issues that drove them to choose substance abuse as a way to solve their problems. Their treatment centers are focused on helping clients make real and lasting recoveries so that they no longer think of themselves as addicts but as fully recovered individuals who now have all the tools and skills necessary to remain sober on their own.