Addiction Recovery Synthetics, Designer Drugs, & More Uncategorized

Not Your Granny’s Bath Salts; A Synthetic Drug Super Villain

Bath salts are a type of synthetic drug that has gained notoriety in recent years due to their dangerous and unpredictable effects. Despite their name, these salts have nothing to do with actual bath salts used for bathing. Instead, they are a type of designer drug that is chemically similar to amphetamines and cathinones.

Bath salts are typically sold in small packets or capsules and are marketed as a legal alternative to other illicit drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine. However, they are far from safe and can cause a range of harmful effects on the body and mind.

The active ingredients in bath salts are typically synthetic cathinones, which are chemically similar to the active ingredient in the khat plant. These cathinones are often mixed with other chemicals and substances to create a potent and unpredictable drug.

The effects can vary widely depending on the specific type of cathinone used and the individual’s tolerance and sensitivity to the drug. Some common effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, paranoia, and violent behavior.

One of the most dangerous aspects of bath salts is their potential for addiction and overdose. Because the drug is so potent and unpredictable, users may quickly develop a tolerance and need to take higher and higher doses to achieve the desired effects. This can lead to overdose and even death.

In addition to the physical and psychological effects, there are also legal consequences associated with their use. Bath salts are illegal in many countries and states, and possession or distribution of the drug can result in serious criminal charges.

In conclusion, bath salts are a dangerous and unpredictable synthetic drug that can cause a range of harmful effects on the body and mind. Despite their name and marketing as a legal alternative to other illicit drugs, they are far from safe and can lead to addiction, overdose, and legal consequences. It is important for individuals to be aware of the risks associated and to avoid using them altogether

Synthetics, Designer Drugs, & More

Synthetic and Designer Drugs

Counseling for Synthetic and Designer Drugs

Synthetic and designer drugs are often newly-created versions and adaptations of illicit drugs. Sometimes, they are even new substances, manufactured by individuals in labs, or even in homes. These drugs usually are much stronger than their illicit counterparts. The sheer intensity of the substances can cause more devastating effects on the body. One of the most concerning aspects about synthetic and designer drugs is the common use of highly toxic materials as ingredients when making them.

There are three major categories of synthetic drugs:

  1. Synthetic cannabinoids – mimics marijuana
  2. Synthetic stimulants – mimics cocaine, methamphetamine, “bath salts”
  3. Synthetic hallucinogens – mimics LSD

Synthetic/designer drug makers will often give their creation its own brand name. They often market it under such names as: K2, Spice, Vanilla Sky, White Rush, Scarface, etc. Whatever the name, these products are extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening if ingested…even once. Yes. Just a single use can kill you.

Another challenge related to these substances is that they are ever-changing depending on what the individual manufacturing it decides to put in them. The ingredients that are used can be tweaked and changed however the the person making it decides, which can make potentially even more deadly. To make it even more complicated, with the ever growing number of chemicals being developed…these manufacturers genuinely have no way of knowing exactly what their drugs contain.


Using Synthetic and Designer Drugs Is Extremely Risky

The risks of using synthetic and designer drugs are huge because you never really know what you are taking. When you these these drugs there is a good chance that your body will be altered and you may not function as your normal self after just doing it one time. It can also target select body functions causing them to decline in function with each continued use. The plain truth is that you may not even survive at all, even after one dose. So you have to ask yourself, “Is using this really going to be worth the risk of possibly losing or ruining my life, or the lives of others?” But with so much misinformation out there and a general ignorance to just how lethal these drugs area – the questions rarely get asked. And far too often, younger people become the deadly recipients; giving in to peer pressure or the misinformation they learn on the internet.

Some symptoms of using synthetic drugs may include:

Suicidal thoughts or impulses
Homicidal tendencies
Increased heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Heart attack or stroke
Self-destructive/violent behavior

What Makes Synthetic Drugs So Dangerous

Since synthetic and designer drug makers often change the properties of the original drug counterpart, these drugs typically will have a new, different effect on the brain. They typically also have a different effect on the behaviors of those who ingest them. These new and different effects on the brain/behavior can make drug rehab and counseling more difficult. Each individual who receives treatment and counseling will need to have a different regimen according to how the substance they’ve chosen to ingest has affected their body. The old days of “one path to recovery” as a motto for addiction treatment is simply no longer valid. Treatment centers and professionals who are worth their salt know they have to adapt care to meet the ever-changing problems that arise from an ever-changing and adaptive list of drugs. If the chemistry is ever-changing, how can the care and treatment be successful if it doesn’t change to meet it?

Why Is Synthetic Drug Addiction So Hard To Treat

Most synthetic drugs will end up causing physical damage, psychiatric damage and/or addiction. Once an individual starts using them they will most likely not be able to stop themselves from going back again and again, despite the terrible consequences. Knowing the risks and what they might lose is not enough to keep most addicted people from using again. When addiction reaches this high of a level, there must be some sort of intervention and rehabilitation. This is necessary if the person is going to have the best opportunity for recovery and the support needed to reclaim their life and restore sobriety. People addicted to synthetics/designer drugs often need a structured, treatment environment, medication intervention and working with addiction professionals in order to get them back on the right path.

What to Expect in Treatment for Synthetic and Designer Drug Addiction

With synthetic and designer drugs, expect counseling and rehabilitation to be intensive, structured and thorough. This is needed in order to detoxify the body, create behavior limits, learn new skills, support knew boundaries, address the guilt and shame and curb cravings/urges for the substances. Being inpatient in a facility tailored specifically to treating these addictions can also be very helpful. However, initially they may have severe withdrawal symptoms and behaviors that will have to be managed with medication and other measures that are deemed necessary at the time to ensure their safety.


Ultimately, drug addiction is a complex and difficult disease affecting the you and everyone in your life. It is up to you to start making the right decisions; ask for help and find the motivation you need in order to make a better life for yourself and the ones you love. Your road to recovery begins with you and your greatest chance of success lies in part on your willingness to accept the change.



You CAN do this.

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What Happens After I Finish Treatment?

After detox and inpatient treatment, continuing to work with a seasoned and experienced counselor who specializes in addiction recovery will only increase your chances of helping you reclaim your life. If your loved one is suffering from addiction, be supportive and let them know you care…because it may make all the difference – and get some help for yourself, now. You cannot save them from themselves, but you can learn how to help and how to heal.

Survival is not enough – life is meant for living.


Ben Carrettin is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). He is the owner of Practice Improvement Resources, LLC; a private business which offers an array of specialized counseling, evidenced-based clinical consultation, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and targeted ESI-based services to individuals and businesses.