Millions of Americans every year suffer from addiction. It is a very serious issue that challenges all communities, from ocean to ocean. Combating addiction is not a simple task and it is one that society has been fighting for centuries. The advancement of science, medicine, and knowledge has given our generations more insight into addiction than any other in history. Even with the benefits of modern science and medicine addiction is still relatively misunderstood. A common mistake and assumption is that addiction is a ‘choice’, which garners a certain type of stigma. It is that stigma that hinders addicts from getting help, forcing families into the right action, and keeps governments from properly implementing correct measures to help those suffering from addiction. Drug addiction is not the only type of addiction, but is the most talked about. Synthetic drug addiction is a relatively new concept that is taking over this country state by state. Synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous and prevalent across all of society.

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Man has a deep history of trying, experimenting and wanting to alter their consciousness. This curiosity of seeing the world differently begins at an early age. When children spin around and around in circles attempting to make themselves so dizzy that they cannot walk, they are experimenting with alternative consciousness in a sense. That dizziness that they experience is not addicting, most likely will lead to nausea, but it is that very desire to experience the world in another mindset that is similar to drug experimentation. Young adults have the highest risk for experimenting with drugs because their brains are still developing. Science has been able to prove that the grey matter in the adolescents mind is not fully developed, which can lead to poor decision making skills. Young adults’ minds do not properly weigh the consequences of their behavior; therefore, they are most likely to experiment with dangerous drugs. These drugs have the capability to change the way the brain functions by messing with its chemistry. That young brain tries drugs because the brain does not sufficiently weigh the dangers, the brain then changes, the body adapts to the drug, and the young adult now has a tolerance and possible drug addiction.

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs are any drug that is created by man, which is not found organically in nature. Synthetic drug use, abuse, and addiction have steadily been rising in the United States. Many of these drugs are imported from other countries and sold legally in gas stations, head shops, and over the internet. Federal, state, and local governments have been working diligently to shut down the sale and production of these drugs, but it is incredibly difficult. There has been a 230 percent increase in emergency room visits, as a result of synthetic drug use, between 2010 and 2011. Synthetic drugs are relatively new to the United States. Many parents and family members could pass by or glance over synthetic drugs in shops, gas stations, or even at home without knowing what they are. Many of these drugs are packaged in colorful advertisements that state they are scents for burning and not for human consumption. These tags are strategically placed to allow for their sale; which is meant for ingestion.

There are several types of synthetic drugs available on the street today. The popular names for them are: Spice, K2, Ecstasy, Bath Salts, fake weed, or Flakka. These drugs are made to replicate the effects of other illegal drugs like marijuana, but do not create the same effect. These drugs are created in laboratories and sold in stores legally. Many young adults believe that since the drugs are legal in stores, they are safe to take. Synthetic drugs are just the opposite; extremely dangers and can lead to serious health issues.

Synthetic Drug Abuse

Synthetic drug abuse has quickly risen in popularity in America. In a poll taken in 2011 it is reported that one out of every nine high school students had tried synthetic marijuana. Through various campaigns and other research students have been less likely to use or abuse alcohol and cigarettes, but are more likely to use synthetic drugs. The information regarding synthetic drugs has yet to be made a popular topic. For many, by the time they realize the danger of these drugs it is too late because they can be very addictive.

Synthetic Drug Legality

As previously stated, many young adults use synthetic drugs because they believe they are safe. They think this drug is safe because it is sold legally in American stores and on the internet. Synthetic drugs are currently illegal in 42 states and the government is working to make it completely illegal in the United States. Government agencies continue to make certain substances within the drugs illegal, but the drug companies have a way around that ban. These companies continue to change the chemical make-up of the drugs to circumvent the law. These drugs are also produced in countries that do not have the same types of codes of conduct and users are never sure what they are ingesting. The use of synthetic drugs is like playing Russian roulette with their lives.

Synthetic Drug Abuse Actions

There have been several very extreme cases reported of synthetic drug abuse. Many of these events have been grotesque. They involve violence, obscurity, danger, and illogical behavior. There have been individuals who run through the streets naked and screaming. Other offenders challenge law enforcement by attempting to kick down an armored door. The worst cases involve family members kidnapping, murdering, and disfiguring their own loved ones.

Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Drug Abuse/Addiction

The most common and easiest signs and symptoms of synthetic drug abuse/addiction manifest themselves in behavioral changes. The changes that occur as a result of any addiction are the same. The individual loses interest in normal activity, have law and financial issues, and becomes secluded and isolated, and physical appearance changes. They could begin asking, begging, or even stealing for money for more drugs. Synthetic drugs cause an individual to display serious discrepancies in their behavior. If you notice someone becoming restless, agitated, lack of appetite, or an inability to sleep they could be abusing synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs often cause people to become hostile and even violent. If these are to occur it is essential to call 911 immediately. Synthetic drug users can become wildly erratic and destructive.

Getting Help

The more knowledge a family has about addiction and synthetic drugs the better. There are thousands of hotlines and help centers that can benefit the addict. Speaking with an addiction specialist or advisor can get the family set on the right path. The end goal is to get the addict into a professional treatment center; where they can receive the specialized care to overcome their addiction. Do not hesitate, call or speak with someone once it becomes evident that a problem could exist.