What Are Designer Drugs? Are They Dangerous?

Understanding Your Risk – What Are Designer Drugs?

The new wave of designer drugs that Americans are being exposed to raises a whole new set of concerns and risks. Novelty, attractive and bright packaging, accessibility and marketing have spurred the popularity of designer drugs – with males in their 20s being the biggest demographic. But what are designer drugs and how do you know when there’s a problem?

What are Designer Drugs?

So, exactly what are designer drugs? The idea of designer drugs is substances which are meant to mimic the effects of other well-known drugs such as marijuana and crystal meth. But why would a manufacturer go through such an effort? The main reason why designer drugs are created is in an attempt to bypass the laws which make substances illegal.

The internet has become a major marketplace for such drugs since the laws are often slow to catch up to the latest trend in drug manufacturing. This makes these drugs very accessible to people looking to try it.

Dangers Associated with Designer Drugs

The real risk in using designer drugs comes from not knowing what each batch contains; recipes are constantly changed to both bypass the law and the make a more potent product. Every time a person takes a dose, they run the risk of overdose even when using a drug that is meant to mimic marijuana (a relatively safe substance).

Furthermore, little to no studies is available on the effects of these new drugs on the body and mind in the long term. There is no telling what regular or even a single use of a designer drug will do to a person in the long run.

What are Considered Designer Drugs?

To better protect yourself or a loved one from possible overdose and unforeseen mental and physical health consequences of designer drug abuse, we will look at what are considered designer drugs.

Bath Salts

So, what are designer drugs examples? One of the most dangerous and talked about designer drug is bath salts. It is meant to mimic the powerful drug methamphetamine. However, both fungicides and pesticides can be found in an average batch, along with several other potentially dangerous chemicals. It’s common for users to experience severe confusion, anxiety, terror and hallucinations.


While MDMA has been around for years, it is still one of the first designer drugs – sometimes referred to as club drugs. Some of the dangers of using the substance include cardiac arrest, hypertension and even hypothermia. Once the drug passes, the user feels an overwhelming sense of depression, exhaustion and anxiety.


Molly is also MDMA, but a purer version. The idea behind the change was to not add anything extra to boost the effect, such as amphetamines. But as time has gone by, the recipe for molly has changed several times and it’s impossible to tell what’s inside each dose, which is why some people have been sent to the emergency room after their first dose.


Spice was made to mimic the effects of the well-known marijuana plant. However, what came out of its creation was something far more dangerous; it’s possible to overdose and die from some batches of the drug, which was marketed as a “safe” alternative to marijuana. It is made by taking plant material and adding several chemicals to the mix. Users frequently experience high levels of anxiety, paranoia and disturbing hallucinations.

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

The symptoms of substance abuse may differ depending on what type of drug it is, but in general, a person is in need of help if they cannot stop by themselves, are experiencing many negative side effects of drug abuse and if they have cravings or withdrawal symptoms when they stop.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.