Synthetic Drug Rehab Rates Rocket

Drug rehabilitation statistics are showing an alarming trend towards synthetic drugs and increasing rates of addiction, according to Australia’s ABC News.The Glen Rehab Center, which operates out of New South Wales, has reported a five-fold increase in synthetic drug addicts walking through its doors in the space of just 12 months.

Synthetic drugs are manufactured to observe slight chemical differences to illegal drugs, but in the process develop an entirely different nature. Legally and readily available, the accessibility of these drugs can create the false impression that they are somehow less problematic. Yet their side effects and dangers can be up there with some of the most serious illegal drugs.

Many report that the direct harm caused by synthetic drugs leads to quicker health deterioration than other abused substances, which tend to show a longer pre-treatment addiction period. And with a generation of younger addicts being spawned with easy, retail access to these substances, it’s a worrying trend for those in treatment professions to contemplate.

The main concern with these substances lies in the unknown. While treatment centers deal with the short-term fallout on a regular basis, these drugs simply haven’t been around long enough to be well studied. That means those that take these drugs today are taking the risk on virtually unknown side effects and health implications.

As laws move and try to capture the next most dangerous legal substance, there are underground labs cooking up the next batch of something potentially even more harmful.

Valley Hope, a network of drug rehabilitation centers nationwide, has suggested that the exponential growth of synthetic and so-called ‘designer’ drugs could require radically different treatment approaches in future.

“These synthetic drugs tend to present problems amongst younger users, and this new generation of sufferers are in many cases following an unknown path as far as treatment is concerned. It’s worrying to see so many young men and women struggling to get their lives on track as a result of perfectly legal substances.”

Synthetic drugs are manufactured to replicate the effects of prescribed drugs. Because of the way the law defines controlled substances, these drugs are replicated in the lab before being chemically altered to become legal.

While this has the effect of enabling a replica drug to be sold to consumers perfectly legally, it creates the problematic perception of legitimacy. For those that are confused about drugs, legal options might seem like a safer, somehow more legitimate way to experiment.

But with addiction rates on the rise, and evidence to suggest the side effects of these drugs can be especially unpleasant, this has to be a misguided view. There is definite value in understanding the full scope of how different drugs work. Unfortunately this can’t be achieved overnight and with the commercial drive to create new drugs in the industry, it’s a ‘sell now, ask questions later’ approach. Synthetic drugs are also likely to change the habits of addicts that are currently addicted to illegal drugs, as they switch to a legal method of consumption.

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