Being interdependent in nature, mental illness due to substance abuse and vice versa is a common concept and their coexistence is popularly known as dual diagnosis. Overall, a number of co-occurring disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid addiction, depression and alcohol addiction, schizophrenia and marijuana addiction, are commonly seen.
Despite the availability of a wide range of addictive substances, people constantly try to push the boundary of imagination and ecstasy by experimenting with substances for achieving an altogether different level of “high,” especially by using man-made chemicals than natural ingredients.
Besides increasing the rate of prescription drug abuse, such experimentations have unfortunately also led to the foray of a set of drugs, widely known as “synthetic drugs” or “designer drugs,” which have become the modern tool of addiction.
Being commonly seen as legal alternatives of illicit substances, such drugs have become extensively popular among the youngsters and in parties for creating similar psychoactive effects. Interestingly, they have also emerged as the cult in a very short span of time.
Amidst the prevalent use of designer drugs like Spice and bath salts, studies have revealed these drugs cause symptoms that are similar to that of mental conditions, such as schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and depression, among others.
Camouflaging under different names spikes sale and purchase
As per the several studies, designer drugs can be categorized into two main groups, namely synthetic cannabinoid products (SCPs) and synthetic cathinones (SCs). While SCPs are commonly referred to as Spice, “fake pot” or “fake marijuana,” SCs are widely known and sold as “bath salts.”
One of the major causes for the rise in the use of designer drugs is their acceptance as a legal alternative to illicit substances. This perception might be based on the reasoning that designer drugs are manufactured using approved chemicals used in prescribed medicines.
As designers drugs are primarily made by mixing highly addictive chemicals, blending them in a wrong proportion not only poses risk to life, but also has the potential to lead to addiction and related damages.
By resorting to methods, such as using the label “not for human consumption” and giving the compositions names like stain remover, research chemicals, etc., it becomes comparatively easier to sell designer drugs in the market. Such methods further make it difficult for the law to cease their purchase and sell. The high purchase of these drugs has led to their easy availability at gas stations, liquor stores, convenience stores, etc.
Psychoactive effects higher than illicit substances
The SCPs are mainly sprayed over a variety of herbal or dried plants to be smoked to achieve a high. Though even a smaller amount of SCPs can potentially produce psychoactive effects similar to those of cannabis, the risks caused by SCPs are comparatively higher than cannabis, especially newer SCPs. Due to the constant substitution of different compounds, the chances of toxicity and overdosing are higher.
Additionally, SCPs produce acute negative effects, such as agitation to paranoia, which can last up to 6 hours. Many findings suggest that the users intoxicated with Spice tend to display an array of cognitive changes, mood changes, etc. The risk of psychosis and kidney failure also increases by manifold.
The effects of SCs, such as aggression, disorientation, violent behavior, delirium, anxiety, panic attacks, acute psychosis and extreme paranoia, resemble the symptoms of various disorders. The other adverse repercussions include dilated pupils with involuntary eye movements, lockjaw and teeth grinding, etc.
Choose life over drugs
Designer drugs are not a passing fad rather a very much life-threatening practice. With addiction as one of the first major repercussions of these drugs, the mental illnesses caused by them are also of severe nature. Hence, the consumption of such drugs is like living on the edge.
If you know someone who is struggling with dual diagnosis and needs professional help, contact the California Dual Diagnosis Helpline to know about the best dual diagnosis treatment centers in California. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1736 or chat online to be referred to the best dual diagnosis treatment programs in California.