Designer drugs are drugs with structure or effects similar to illicit drugs. Designer drugs include psychoactive substances with the goal to replicate the original drug. Regardless of the structure or the effect, these are designed in a way that lead to avoiding being classified as an illegal drug.
Designer drugs that replicate the effects of illicit drugs, usually are made using various chemicals that are legally available on the market.
Generally, designer drugs can be divided into three categories:
There are hundreds of designer drugs, created in concealed locations or homemade laboratories. If you want to learn more about designer drugs and the dangers they bear, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Bronx.
The first most notable designer drugs in the US were dibenzoylmorphine and acetylpropionylmorphine. Assumingly, they were derived after the passage of the second International Opium Convention in 1925, and were not covered by it. In time, the creation of designer drugs continued through derivation of several synthetic hallucinogens.
The term “designer drugs” originates in the 1980s, when various synthetic opioid drugs were developed. This was the time when MDMA and synthetic opioid drugs based on the fentanyl molecule were widespread.
In the late 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, stimulants alternative to methamphetamines became popular. The most notable were methcathinone and 4-methylaminorex.
The later extension of the designer drugs was encouraged by their labelling as research chemicals, or products with innocent names like bath salts, jewelry cleaners, plant food and others. As these products are usually marked as goods “not for human consumption”, they do not fall under legal prohibitions, and legal regulations that apply to drugs cannot be applied in their cases, regardless the fact that these drugs might be significantly stronger than their illicit analogues.
In 2009 – 2013 another rapid expansion of the designer drugs market took place. 268 new substances were identified in these five years only.
The consequences of using designer drugs are not always known, due to the continuously rising number of designer drugs and lack of information on pharmacology and toxicology of most of these drugs. If you need a doctor’s advice, or you feel withdrawal symptoms when not using a drug, contact Alcohol Treatment Centers Bronx at 212-202-5656.