Keeping on top of today’s hot new drug can be a bit like playing the arcade game “Whack-a-Mole.” Law enforcement and medical professionals can barely keep up with the designer drugs and synthetic chemicals that hit the streets. As soon as one formula is discovered and banned, creative chemists alter the structure of the molecules to create another substitute until that one is banned too. Since the substances used to create these drugs are technically legal, it is much harder to stop or even limit production.
The latest drugs to find their way into the spotlight are 2C drugs like 2C-I or “Smiles.” These psychoactive hallucinogens alter the brain’s balance of dopamine and serotonin, reportedly producing a high that lasts for hours or even days. The drug can be taken as small tablets, on pieces of blotter paper like LSD, in powder form, or mixed with something else like chocolate.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes that most, if not all, 2C drugs are being imported and not made domestically. This means there is no central location or “ground zero” for the problem. It is happening in big cities as well as small towns and rural locations.
One of the biggest problems with a drug like “Smiles” is that, like bath salts or “Spice” (a popular marijuana substitute), it is legal and users assume that means it is safe. Young users believe the substances are harmless and only find out after they experience dangerous physical side effects that this is not the case. To add to the problem, it is tough for DEA agents to stay up to date on the latest synthetic drugs, because what is popular or new changes from month to month instead of year to year as it used to.
Designer Drug Abuse Help at The Oaks at La Paloma
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