Saturday December 3rd 2016

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Teenage designer drugs: What’s trending?

Club drugs on the market

Unlike sporting the latest designer clothes and carrying the newest cell phone with all the bells and whistles, teenage substance abuse bears its own designer trends.

Synthetic “designer drugs” are hitting the teen scene at a very dangerous and rapid rate. These drugs are designed to be more powerful, produce lengthier ‘highs’, and can be very addictive. However, dangerous and unpredictable compounds are often the base of the psychoactive effects, and while easily obtainable on the Internet, at gas stations and in head shops, their regulation is limited.

Club drugs currently on the market can include:

  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Methamphetamine
  • Rohypnol
  • Synthetic cannabinoids (K2, Spice)

For example, in March of 2011, the DEA classified the sale and possession of many synthetic cannabinoid ingredients illegal. Yet despite the illegal ruling, use of varieties of dangerous synthetic marijuana among high school seniors remained unchanged in 2012 according to the annual Monitoring the Future study. The continued use can suggest one of two things; either compliance with the law is limited, or manufacturers of K2 and Spice have found a way to change their chemical formulas to contain legalingredients.

Molly: What’s it all about?

Molly may be growing in popularity but ‘she’ is not the new kid in school. Don’t be fooled by the cute name either. Molly is a dangerous designer drug that acquired its nickname from the word “molecule”. It is a pure form of MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamineused in ecstasy) and is produced into multi-colored pills or in a powdered form.

Popular among 16 to 24 year olds, Molly was recently placed in the spotlight by pop-artists Nicki Minaj, Trinidad James, Madonna, Kanye West and Rihanna. Molly carries a one-two punch as a stimulant and a psychedelic drug which produces a much sought-after euphoric high. In a CNN report, users reported a bitter taste until the high kicked in producing an “adrenaline rush” type feeling which lasted a few hours.

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What goes up must come down

However, little Miss Molly does not come to the party without consequences. The real danger lurking in Molly’s cute little pink, green, yellow, baby blue and orange pills embossed with Pac-man faces, crowns, alligators, skull and cross-bones and Buddha’s – to name a few – is the fact that one never knows what other component has been mixed into this drug. Some negative side effects of Molly can inlude:

  • cardiac abnormalities
  • coma
  • dehydration
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • hallucinations
  • kidney stones and infections
  • long-term depression
  • panic attacks
  • permanent kidney damage
  • seizures

Since Molly originates mainly in Asia, the Netherlands, and Canada, what you see or think you are buying is not necessarily what you are getting. DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne has said, “Suppliers are making it look like something that is safe and easy to take, but in many cases, you’re playing Russian roulette. You have no idea the lab environment these chemicals or substances were produced in. If they [users} knew where things were produced, they might think twice.”

We can only hope as with most trends, designer drugs soon fall out of vogue in the world of teenage substance abuse. Long term effects of ecstasy on the brain, for example, are still in need of study. But if you have questions or comments about these drugs, please leave them in the comments form at the end.

Reference Sources: Monitoring the Future Study
NIDA: What are designer drugs?
NIDA: Club Drugs
MedLine Plus: Club Drugs
CNN: Molly and MDMA

Photo credit: beITRON

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About Suzi Martel

Suzi Martel, founder of In Suzi's Words, is a freelance lifestyle writer who has a passion for writing informative copy on a variety of topics including addiction treatment and drug rehab.

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