Other designer drugs

Designer drugs are not glamorous– they simply get their name from the way in which they are produced.  Designer drugs refer to those that are “designed” in a lab. They are synthetic (man-made, artificial) drugs created to mimic the effects of other known drugs, such as ecstasy or marijuana.  They are made in labs, often in unsafe conditions, with no controls over the process so what a user may get each time can vary (just like any other illegal drug).  Below are a few “designer” drugs that are making their way to teens. Four are covered here but there are many, many others (unfortunately) with many variations:


Mephedrone is a stimulant that produces temporary improvements in mental and physical functioning as well as emotional effects similar to ecstasy. In 2009, mephedrone became the 4th most popular street drug behind ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana.  Known to users as meph, MCAT, bubbles and drone, the UK press refers to it as Meow or Meow meow. Long term effects are unknown.

[source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184233.php]

Synthetic Marijuana: K2, Spice Fake weed and black diamond

These products are herbal incenses that are spiked with ingredients that, when smoked, will mimic the effects of marijuana. They are cheap and easily obtained making them particularly inviting to teens. However, like all drugs, they are dangerous and can cause horrible effects such as:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Attack
  • Tics or Involuntary movements
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • High rates of addiction similar to meth, cocaine, and opiates
  • Prolonged headaches/migraines lasting for days after consumption
  • Severe paranoia leading to brash or malicious acts
  • Increased heart rate
  • Physical addiction, heroin-like withdraw symptoms
  • Bloody nose
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Death
[Source (with the list being copied directly): http://www.k2info.org/k2_incense_synthetic_marijuana_spice/k2-incense-synthetic-marijuana-health-risks/]

Opiate mixtures/Prescription strength cough syrups: i.e., Purple Drank

Purple Drank is one of many slang names for the result of mixing prescription strength cough syrup with sodas. Some people are mixing opiates with sodas as well and designing their own drinks. Needless to say, this is a dangerous idea. Mixing drugs, doing drugs at all!, can lead to all sorts of medical complications including death. Just because other teens are doing it, doesn’t make it smart or okay. This is a very dangerous thing to do. 

 Special K OR Ketamine:

This drug is a small animal tranquilizer. In addition to its anesthetizing effects, it produces feelings of dissociation and reduced anxiety. It also has some hallucinogenic effects that are relatively short in duration lasting 30- 60 minutes as opposed to hours from drugs like LSD or PCP. But, flashbacks can occur several weeks later. Ketamine may also cause agitation, depression, cognitive difficulties, unconsciousness, and amnesia.

Special K has been used to facilitate sexual assault. It is one of the reasons why you should NEVER drink something you have not seen being poured directly from the bottle/can. It is one of the reasons you should ALWAYS have a sober buddy when you are of age and out having a good time, particularly at a party or dance scene. Read the Bonus YSS: Paula’s Story to learn more.

(Source: http://www.justthinktwice.com/drugs/ketamine.html)

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Have you ever heard of these drugs or been exposed to them?

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