The recreational drug landscape is constantly changing. It can be difficult to track trends in the market and what goes into each drug, especially considering that many drugs are illegal and thus unregulated. However, there are several legal drugs that, if used improperly, can lead to addiction. Here are some of the dangerous drugs and substances to be aware of in 2019.
Fentanyl, Heroin, and Opioids
Approximately 130 people die each day in the United States from opioid overdose. It is a serious issue, and researchers are seeing an increase in recent years of addictions and withdrawal symptoms among fetuses.
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid, 100 times more potent than morphine. Doctors often prescribe it to patients tolerant of other opioids. Fentanyl is undoubtedly a significant factor in the nation’s opioid crisis.
Law enforcement agencies have discovered many cases of fentanyl-laced heroin. The Drug Enforcement Agency reports that fentanyl is a factor in more than half of the record-high overdose fatalities in New York City.
Like fentanyl, heroin can also be cheaper than prescription opioids. A University of Michigan study conducted in 2017 found that 20% of high school seniors said they could “easily” obtain heroin.
Fentanyl is often cheaper than prescription opioids and deadlier. Whether it be heroin or fake oxycodone, many users might be unaware of the fentanyl they ingest.
With the growing legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, other compounds formed from cannabis are likely to increase in use. Synthetic cannabinoids, created in laboratories, are used in many medicines treating a variety of ailments.
These drugs are often sold under brand names like “K2” and “Spice” in convenience stores. Many of these products sell with messages stating they are not for consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration reported in 2018 of some cannabinoid products laced with brodifacoum, a blood thinner often found in rat poison, which sent hundreds to hospitals. Recreational users can overdose on synthetic cannabinoids, and, unlike natural marijuana, deaths have been attributed to the drugs.
E-cigarettes and Vaping
The NIDA reports that e-cigarette use is the most common manner of tobacco use in teens in America. A 2018 study marked significant increases in e-cigarette use among high schoolers from the previous year, with more than one quarter of seniors having used in the previous month.
E-cigarettes and vape pens are legal and readily available, and are often perceived as safer than cigarettes. With hundreds of brands on the market, it can be hard to tell what chemicals are in individual items. Many contain nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals, some known carcinogens.
The landscape of dangerous drugs and substances is changing in the United States. Many well-known drugs are becoming legal or quasi-legal, making them easier to obtain. However, their dangers are still present and more mysterious.
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, it may be difficult to know where to turn. Fortunately, High Focus Centers is here to help. View our treatment programs to see how we help patients overcome substance use.