Synthetic Drug Abuse

SyntheticMarijuanaCropThe category of synthetic drugs is one that is very hard to pin down, due to the speed at which this category is expanding. In the last dozen years, the list of synthetic drugs being abused in the US has grown enormously. So the signs and symptoms of synthetics abuse will have a very wide range. Symptoms of use of this class of drug is enough to create alarm in parents, medical professionals, law enforcement officials and lawmakers.

The List Constantly Changes

New synthetics arrive on the market constantly, so it is not possible to compile a complete list. Chemists who wish to evade arrest can simply shift the formula slightly and come up with something new that might not be listed in the text of laws that ban drugs.

The synthetics class includes drugs like those called “bath salts” and those sold as synthetic marijuana. Both these types of drug are sold in deceptive packaging, being labeled as plant food, fish food, “soothing bath salts,” incense or potpourri. They have imaginative and fancy names. There are as many as a hundred different chemicals that might be included in either of these formulations. There are also Piperazines, another class of synthetics, and scores that just use a letter-number designation, like 2C-E, MDEA, or 3-FEC.

If you are trying to determine if a person has abused a synthetic, you might be looking for signs and symptoms like these:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal tendencies and attempts
  • Homicidal tendencies
  • Delusions
  • Overstimulation
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Death
  • Overheating that causes a person to tear off his clothes
  • Other self-destructive behavior like bashing one’s body or head against walls

Less severe symptoms of synthetic drugs can include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Inability to speak
  • Restlessness
  • Euphoria

Symptoms can last for hours or even days. Since these drugs are addictive, one of the signs of synthetics abuse is compulsive use despite the harm that is being experienced.


Some users have experienced severe episodes of psychotic behavior. Paranoia, extreme anxiety and hallucinations can result in aggressive, even homicidal behavior. Compounds used in synthetic drugs have also caused rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, vomiting and confusion. It has also been associated with heart attacks.

Narconon – Signs & Symptoms of Synthetics Abuse
Narconon – Effects of Synthetics