Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment
What Are Synthetic Drugs?
Synthetic drugs are mood-altering substances that are created completely out of man-made chemicals, as opposed to other drugs that are derived from natural products that have been processed. They are created to mimic the effects of other illegal drugs. Based on their chemical composition, synthetic drugs are commonly divided into two categories: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. Synthetic cannabinoids (Spice or K2) contain a chemically manufactured version of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the active chemical found in marijuana; synthetic cannabinoids refer to synthetic marijuana. Synthetic cathinones are more popularly referred to as “bath salts”. They consist of man-made chemical compounds created to mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine. Synthetic drugs are manufactured in unregulated laboratory settings and the ingredients and formula used to develop each batch of synthetic drugs are at the sole discretion of the manufacturer, of which there are many. The variants, additives, and potency of synthetic drugs are continuously modified, essentially leaving the consumer unaware of what they are truly ingesting. Synthetic drugs can be extremely dangerous and highly addictive.
How Are Synthetic Drugs Addictive?
Synthetic drugs are addictive in the same way that other illicit drugs are. An individual that habitually abuses synthetic drugs will build a tolerance to the abused substance, which means he or she must increase the dose and/ or frequency of synthetic drug use to achieve the same effects. Synthetic drugs work by altering one’s central nervous system and brain chemistry. Any person that abuses synthetic drugs over a prolonged period of time increases his or her risk for developing a dependency. The longer an individual abuses synthetic drugs the more his or her brain relies on functioning with the presence of synthetic drugs in his or her system, eventually resulting in the inability of one’s brain to function properly in its absence.
Signs and Symptoms of a Synthetic Drug Addiction
There are many possible signs and symptoms exhibited by an individual who abuses synthetic drugs. Some of them could include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following examples, as provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP):
- Inability to speak
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Extreme overheating
- Homicidal tendencies
- Suicidal ideations
- Suicidal attempts
- Heart attack
These symptoms can manifest differently in different individuals. The duration and severity of symptoms will depend on a variety of contributing factors (i.e. the personal health history of the individual, the type of synthetic drug abused, the potency of the substance abused, the amount abused, etc.).
The Treatment Process
The primary goals for treatment from synthetic drug abuse and/ or addiction are abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation. Synthetic drugs are unregulated substances, which means that the exact contents are largely unknown. The potential side effects, known as withdrawal symptoms that can develop during the first stage of treatment, known as detox (the process of ridding one’s body of all abused substances), from synthetic drug abuse can be dangerous. Therefore, it is advised to undergo a medically supervised detox, to provide ample monitoring and ensure the safety of the individual through the duration of the detox process. Following one’s detoxification process it is essential to continue the recovery process by attending a formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. Every person is different and will require a tailored treatment plan when recovering from substance abuse and/ or addiction. The specific treatment plan developed for each person recovering from synthetic drug abuse and/ or addition will vary as it will depend on the individual’s nuanced needs as well as the type of synthetic drug used.
Why Choose Annandale in Pasadena?
Annandale Behavioral Health is a private wellness center located in the beautiful hills of Pasadena, CA. Our center provides the ideal environment for guests to reconnect with nature while receiving premium and personalized treatment. At Annandale, we honor each person’s individuality and have a core belief that everyone is capable of achieving true wellness. We understand that in order to heal, every person in recovery deeply benefits from a customized and tailored treatment plan, which we carefully develop for each of our guests. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is made up of highly regarded psychiatrists, physicians, therapists, nursing, and support staff.
Annandale Behavioral Health offers a full continuum of care, including medically supervised detox, stabilization, residential treatment, and aftercare services. We are here to support you every step of the way to help you learn how to lead a healthy, authentic, and fulfilling life that both promotes and supports true wellness.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about our program here at Annandale Behavioral Health. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process. Feel free to reach us by phone at 855-778-8668 or through our contact form. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.