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Synthetic Drug Addiction

Synthetic (or “designer”) drugs are substances made by humans to mimic the effects of natural drugs. Some are formulated to skirt regulations on things like cannabinoids, making it easier to sell them and pass drug tests. Others are designed as medications, but they end up being abused.

Whether a drug is processed from natural materials or created in a lab, its effects can be just as powerful. When a person depends on a synthetic drug to function, it’s critical to get professional help before lasting damage is done. The addiction treatment programs at our Agoura Hills, CA facility can be life saving.

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic Drugs That Are Commonly Abused

Numerous synthetic drugs have been made to mimic a variety of drug types and effects.

Examples include:

  • Synthetic cannabinoids: Drugs that mimic the effects of the natural cannabinoids in marijuana (cannabis); examples of synthetic cannabinoids include Spice and K2, which are often marketed as an herbal smoking product or incense.
  • Synthetic opioids: Drugs that mimic the effects of natural opioids like codeine and morphine; well-known examples include the medications methadone and fentanyl. When abused, these are extremely addictive.
  • Synthetic cathinones: Drugs made from the khat plant that mimic the effects of other illegal stimulants like cocaine, meth, and ecstasy (MDMA); examples of synthetic cathinones include street drugs known as bath salts and Flakka.
  • Prescription synthetic stimulants: Medications like amphetamines (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), developed for things like ADHD, narcolepsy, and eating disorders; these are also highly addictive when abused.

The Destructive Effects of Synthetic Drug Abuse

Whether someone is smoking synthetic cannabinoids or popping synthetic stimulant pills, abuse can have devastating repercussions. Sometimes, organ damage accumulates over time and behaviors change slowly. Other times, the effects and withdrawal symptoms are sudden and unexpected. Abusing drugs rules the person’s life, and it can cause permanent impairment, overdose or death.

Non-medication drugs like synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones are not strictly regulated, and inconsistencies can have dangerous effects. Bath salts, for example, have famously caused people to have intense delusions and aggression, sometimes leading to violence and fatalities.

Effects of Synthetic Drug Abuse
Synthetic Drug Addiction

How to Spot a Synthetic Drug Addiction

The effects of synthetic drugs depend on the type of substance. Cannabinoids and stimulants, for example, have opposite effects on the central nervous system. The most important thing is to watch for traits and behaviors that are unusual or otherwise unexplained.

Different possible signs and symptoms of synthetic drug abuse include:

  • Extreme energy (common with stimulants)
  • Extreme lethargy (common with depressants like cannabinoids)
  • Cognitive impairment, unclear thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety, depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Recklessness, impulsiveness
  • Psychosis
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability, aggression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased/reduced heart rate and breathing
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Isolating from others
  • Struggling in relationships and at work or school
  • Neglecting responsibilities

Our Unique Approach to Treating Synthetic Substance Use

At our synthetic drug addiction treatment center in Agoura Hills, CA, we take a holistic, comprehensive approach to rehab. In our outpatient and inpatient residential treatment programs, we craft a custom treatment plan for each individual’s unique needs.

Our Los Angeles area addiction treatment programs use a variety of evidence-based therapeutic modalities, including:

  • Medical drug detox: Initial detoxification with 24/7 medical supervision to ensure safety and ease uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms
  • Behavioral therapy: Individual therapy and group therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET), which helps people find the motivation to lean into substance abuse treatment
  • Dual diagnosis rehab: Treatment for both the substance use disorder and any co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Alumni program: An aftercare support program featuring ongoing meetings and other resources to help prevent relapse
Treating Synthetic Substance Use
Del Arroyo Recovery Center in Agoura Hills

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment at Del Arroyo Recovery Center in Agoura Hills

At our Los Angeles area synthetic drug detox and rehab center, we create a personalized program for every individual. Our knowledgeable staff are experienced in treating multiple types of addictions, and we use evidence-based addiction therapy to achieve real clinical results.

We have a strong focus on long-term sobriety and lifestyle improvement. We treat the substance abuse disorder and arm clients with the life skills, coping skills, and post-treatment support they’ll need for a healthy, sober life.

Take the First Step Toward Sobriety at Our Southern California Rehab

If you or a loved one are addicted to ADHD medications, “herbal incense” cannabinoids, or other synthetic drugs, it’s urgent that you get help before you suffer permanent health effects. Contact our Agoura Hills substance abuse rehab today to discuss your drug detox and rehab program options.

Southern California Rehab

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists in Agoura Hills, CA

Contact us today to learn more about our Los Angeles-area individualized addiction treatment programs and explore your options.