The Rise of New Designer Drugs

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The Rise of New Designer Drugs

For some people, heroin, cocaine, and prescription painkillers are not enough. Drug cartels and even your neighborhood drug dealer have turned to chemistry to create new, more power drugs. The result is a series of drug trends centered on new designer drugs that are hitting the streets and wreaking havoc on the country.

What Are Designer Drugs?

Designer drugs or synthetic drugs are substances that have been chemically altered to mimic other known drugs. Typically, they are created illegally in an underground lab with the intent of being more potent and having other effects than the original drug. They are not regulated, so each batch can have a different chemical makeup.

The Latest Designer Drugs to Hit The US

Designer drugs have been around the US for many years. The most well-known ones include ecstasy, LSD, and meth. Although these drugs are still being abused, new and often more dangerous drugs are constantly being created and distributed. As a South Florida behavioral healthcare facility, we have seen the devastating effects of the latest designer drugs to hit our neighborhood.

Synthetic Opioids

Th opioid epidemic has been making headlines across the United States and the problems only seem to be getting worse. Instead of prescription painkillers and heroin, people are now turning to more potent and powerful synthetic opioids. Fentanyl and carfentanil, in particular, are deadly synthetic opioids that have been growing in popularity in more recent years. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and carfentanil can be up to 10,000 times more potent than morphine.1,2 Because these substances are so deadly, it is important to get a detox for pain pills to stop your opioids addiction from developing into an addiction to these more deadly drugs.


Flakka is a designer drug that is a synthetic stimulant with similar chemicals to bath salts. It first made headlines in Florida in 2014, but its use has since spread to other parts of the country.3 The greatest danger of this drug is that people tend to have irrational and risky behavior when using it that can result in serious injury or death.

Synthetic Marijuana

Marijuana may be legal in some states, but synthetic marijuana is dangerous. Frequently called Spice or K2, synthetic marijuana is a result of dried plant parts sprayed with mind-altering chemicals. Although some people believe that synthetic marijuana is safer than regular marijuana, this is not the case. When too much is consumed, synthetic marijuana can lead to tremors, seizures, vomiting, unconsciousness, and even death.4 With the rise in vaping and people using synthetic marijuana in their e-cigarettes, these problems are becoming more common.

These new drug trends are scary and pushing the limits of what humans can handle, but our residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach could help prevent addictions from reaching this point and save lives.

If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs, it is important to get help before turning to these new designer drugs that can be fatal. Call us today at 561-220-3981 to learn more about our programs at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches.



  1. CDC – Fentanyl
  2. American College of Emergency Physicians – A High Potency Opioid: Carfentanil, Lethal and on the Rise
  3. Medicine Net – What is Flakka? What are the signs and symptoms of Flakka abuse?
  4. DEA – Drugs of Abuse


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