Rehab for designer drugs is for those suffering from designer drug addiction. Designer drugs are substances, usually with psychoactive effects that were originally created or “designed” in order to get around the laws banning many hallucinogenic or other, psychoactive drugs. Some of these compounds are based on, or derived from, known hallucinogenic substances; others are synthesized from unrelated chemicals. Their psychoactive effects vary: some designer drugs have effects that are quite similar to existing drugs, while others cause different, brand new experiences and behavior.

In many jurisdictions, until a new substance is declared illegal by some regulatory organization such as the FDA or the DEA in the US – or similar agencies abroad – people can quite freely and legally (or almost so) create, sell and use that substance. Since it normally takes a while for regulators to analyze new substances and ban them, a legal or almost-legal market for these designer drugs can exist for some time, providing profit for manufacturers and dealers alike. The label “designer drug” can stick with a substance even after it has been declared illegal.

In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration has had the ability and authority to declare new substances illegal on an emergency basis, for the past twenty or so years. In spite of this, illegal designer drugs are still explored and invented in many illegal labs. In some other countries, without similar authorities, the regulatory process is much slower and these countries provide a fertile breeding ground for amateur or professional chemists to experiment with new drug “designs” – these designer drugs will, sooner or later, make their way into North America illegally, and become part of the general, illegal drug trade.

It should be noted that not all so-called designer drugs are aimed at the hallucinogenic drug-abuser’s market – there have also been steroids designed to enhance athletic performance and compounds meant for cosmetic use – such as tanning agents – as well as Viagra (R)-analogs. However, the psychoactive and psychedelic designer drugs are the best known, most popular, and probably the most dangerous designer drugs.

The types and numbers of various designer drugs today are much too numerous to list; some of the more familiar street names are Ecstasy (MDMA, also known as XTC, or X); GHB (Grievous Bodily Harm, G, or Liquid Ecstasy), and Bath Salts (a cover term for a family of designer drugs with effects somewhat similar to amphetamines and cocaine).

Whatever their names or effects, designer drugs share one common, very significant risk: they are substances that are of relatively recent origin and illegal, or at best, unofficial and unacknowledged status. Because of this, they are not subject to any official, or unofficial tests or drug trials. It is therefore impossible for anyone to say what their verified effects, possible side-effects or dangers are, nor for anyone to know what a safe dosage – if any – might be. Most of what is known has been gained either by observations of usage – and it is not reassuring.

Many years’ experience with designer drugs has demonstrated that quite a few have very serious and harmful side-effects, some leading to permanent brain or bodily damage, and even to death. Depending on the drug, they can cause severe damage to different organs: kidneys, liver, the heart and other parts of the circulatory system, as well as muscle tissue loss. Psychological damage can include depression, panic attacks, paranoia and hallucinations, and some have been known to lead to suicide.

Some recent designer drugs such as “Bath Salts” have been reported to be highly addictive and dangerous both to the person taking them and, because they can cause intensely aggressive and violent behavior, also to their friends, neighbors, or indeed anyone they meet.

Given that designer drugs are manufactured with no supervision or any attempt at quality control, the above risks are compounded many times by the fact that the manufacturing process, as well as the channels of illegal distribution may introduce extra, unknown ingredients (or even known ones) with further, unknown, negative effects.

In some ways, because of the fact that many designer drugs are so new and cannot be adequately evaluated, and because many of them are produced or “designed” by unscrupulous and unprofessional chemists, designer drugs are among the most dangerous illegal substances available

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