Synthetic drugs differ from organic ones in that they are produced via chemical synthesis. Synthetic drugs are designed to mimic organic botanical compounds, but they often contain highly processed chemicals. The body has difficulty recognizing synthetic drugs, which makes them harder to process and metabolize. For this reason, these drugs are more likely to induce toxicity and adverse side effects. Common examples of synthetic drugs include most all prescription drugs, crack-cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), and methamphetamine.
Organic drugs are natural substances extracted from plants and animals. Examples of them include marijuana, heroin, opium, cocaine and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Neither synthetic nor organic drugs are more dangerous than the other, because both of them have potential for abuse. When either type of drug is abused, overdose, adverse side effects and addiction are all possible. However, a recent flood of synthetic drugs has emerged on the drug abuse scene, so many people are more concerned about abusing these substances.
Synthetic drugs (like bath salts, spice and jewelry cleaner) are popular in the US. While organic drugs are certainly dangerous, synthetic drugs may be more risky, because they can be produced anywhere, like in someone’s basement. There is less supervision and law enforcement for producing synthetic drugs, so people have no guarantee of safety if they abuse drugs produced illegally. In other words, synthetic drug users have no idea what the chemicals actually contain, so they may poison themselves on drugs containing gasoline and other extremely toxic contents.
Currently, manufacturers of synthetic prescription drugs are held accountable when they produce their products, but even drug manufacturers find it in their best interest to alter drugs’ chemical compositions to make a cheaper product or to produce drugs faster.
Many synthetic drugs can be used without causing serious harm. If a drug is taken as prescribed, the effects will be minimal, and generally outweighed by the benefits they provide for a medical condition. However all drugs cause a chemical reaction in the brain, so the longer someone uses any chemical, organic or synthetic, the more change it will cause.
Abusing marijuana, cocaine or heroin will lead to short-and long-term consequences, but so will the abuse of synthetic drugs. Synthetic street drugs have no regulations to follow, so they can contain any poisonous chemical without repercussions for the produce or seller. Users have no idea what toxic chemicals they will ingest from these drugs, which can lead to horrible outcomes, including instant overdose fatality.
For more information about drug abuse and/or addiction, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with our admissions coordinators. They can answer your questions and provide you with all the information you need to find treatment. Our staff can connect you with treatment professionals across the nation, and their services are only a phone call away.