Essay Sample on the Impacts and Treatment for Synthetic Designer Drugs

Published: 2022-09-22
Essay Sample on the Impacts and Treatment for Synthetic Designer Drugs
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Pregnancy Drug abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1750 words
15 min read

Currently, there are new trends in drug use. The use of synthetic drugs is on the rise primarily among teenagers despite their associated severe health risks and their ability to bring an individual to contact with the drug laws enforcing bodies. Synthetic drugs include illicit substances that are not derived from plants. Synthetic designer drugs are created in the laboratories in large scale and still, others are created at the household level through the use of easily accessible chemicals. Due to the deadly effects of some of these synthetic drugs including krokodil they are mostly consumed without user knowledge. Other individuals are not aware of the side effects of their consumption. This essay addresses the significant risks regarding the consumption of synthetic drugs and the general effects of synthetic drugs. Also, it reveals the people who consume krokodil, carfentanil, and fentanyl, the side effects of their consumption and specific risks to prenatal development. Moreover, this essay includes the treatment options including detoxification, use of tranquilizers and use of stabilizing opioids.

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Risks of Consumption of Synthetic Designer Drugs

In most instances, the synthetic drugs are purchased legally on the counter from the fact that their chemical structures are yet to be covered within the existing drug laws. Lawmakers face significant struggles in dealing with the consumption of synthetic designer due to the ability of manufacturers to change their chemical composition with time (Sacco & Finklea, 2011). In fact, the manufacturers have the ability to circumvent the chemical composition of synthetic drugs such that a consumer will test negative for a drug test after their consumption.

The synthetic designer drugs are believed to have a similar high effect on marijuana and cocaine but the truth is these drugs have deadly effects due to their dangerous chemical composition. There lacks adequate research to expose all the health effects of synthetic drugs. (Sacco & Finklea, 2011). Research affirms that synthetic drugs are 50 times stronger than cocaine (Sacco & Finklea, 2011). Evidently, designer drugs have extremes levels of toxicity. The synthetic designer drugs are more dangerous and potent compared to their counterparts found on the street.

The synthetic drugs are easily available on the counter in different forms and the teenagers are the leading population group in their use. The existence of a high number of retail outlets and online commerce increase the accessibility of designer drugs. A research revealed that a high number of nine grade students consume synthetic marijuana (Houston Behavioural Health Care Hospital, 2016). The consumption of drugs among teenagers with limited information about the same and the effect of peer influence means that synthetic drugs might lead to a high number of deaths.

Common Effects of Synthetic Drugs

The consumption of synthetic drugs led to major psychological risks such as paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, and depression. Other impacts include delirium, a constant feeling of anxiety and suicidal thoughts (Gurney et al., 2014). Some of the consumers display effects such as irritability leading to irrational and violent behaviour.

There are physical risks associated with the consumption of designer drugs. Such include dehydration, vomiting, and fever. Since the designer drugs have high levels of toxicity they might lead to heart failure (Gurney et al., 2014). Synthetic drugs impair the brain functioning and they may lead to a coma or even death. Overdoses of designer drugs necessitate emergency treatment failure of which death results. Indeed, the use of synthetic drugs in just one instance might have significant health impacts.

The use of synthetic designer drugs impacts on the ability of the user to have successful interpersonal interactions. The consumers dedicate a lot of time, energy and money to synthetic drugs and it impairs interactions by leading to financial constraints at the family level (Gurney et al., 2014). Further, the erratic behaviours impair the quality of relationships with loved ones and family members.

Synthetic drugs lead to addiction. All drugs including designer drugs have rewarding effects that serve to reinforce their continued consumption. Addiction leads to physiological dependence such that the consumers cannot work without the drug (Gurney et al. 2014). Physiological dependence leads to the minimal success of rehabilitation efforts since a user may find it difficult to quit the consumption of the same due to associated withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Impacts of Specific Synthetic Drugs


Fentanyl is a kind of a depressant drug with the effect of slowing down the transfer of messages from the body to the brain. It is a kind of an opioid and it contributes to the reduction of severe pain in clinical settings. The illicit use of fentanyl is common among patients who are prescribed to the drug. Some take an overdose of the prescribed fentanyl, use it recreationally or give the medicines to other people. The illicit use of fentanyl leads to drowsiness (Qunitana et al., 2017). Other effects include reduced appetite, slurred speech, lowered body pressure, redness, nausea and vomiting. Overdosing results to chest pains, bluish lips, seizure, passing out or even death.

The long-term effects of the use of Fentanyl include digestive tract problems such as constipation, infrequent and painful bowel movements. Other long-term side effects include breathing issues such as shallow breathing and associated minimal chest movements (Quintana et al., 2017). In the long run, the consumption of fentanyl is related to reduced libido, and menstrual problems.

Impacts on Fetal Development

The use of fentanyl during pregnancy inhibits fetal growth. It leads to low birth weight and preterm babies. Some of the babies born to fentanyl dependent mothers have heart defects and brain injury (Mcpherson et al., 2015). A common outcome of fentanyl use during pregnancy include neonatal abstinence. Children belonging to fentanyl dependent mothers develop addiction towards the same before they are born. Moreover, new-borns suffer from tremors and increased respiratory rate. A baby to fentantyl dependent mother is likely to exhibit post-natal withdrawal symptoms such as diarrhea, sweating, trembling, poor feeding and sleep issues. It is difficult to calm children suffering from withdrawal symptoms and it necessitates the use of methadone and morphine to alleviate withdrawal issues.


There are significant risks associated with the various withdrawal symptoms. It is recommended that fentanyl addicts should not attempt to control their consumption of the drug without medical assistance. The gradual process of withdrawal from opioid use involves the use of weaker synthetic substances such as methadone and buprenorphine (Kimber et al., 2015). The weaker substances provide substitution therapy that prevents severe withdrawal symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations.


Carfentanil is consumed by individuals who cannot afford other types of an illicit substance such as heroin and cocaine since it is cheap. Its high potency makes it applicable for aesthetic purposes and as tranquilizing medicine for large animals including elephants. The drug is made of a mixture of small amounts of cocaine and other substances (Quintana et al., 2017). While someone might consume the substance unintentionally, it still has significant side effects.

An overdose of carfentanil risks an individual to death. Suppose an individual does not die from carfentanil use, they may experience other side effects including calmness, tranquillity, drowsiness, and nausea (Quintana et al., 2017). There are other impacts including the feeling of restlessness, insomnia, excessive sweating, anxiety, muscle aches, depression and inability to concentrate.

Impacts on Prenatal Development

The use of substances mixed with carfentanil contributes to birth defects and the overall poor health of the child. Similarly, the use of carfentanil during pregnancy leads to placental abruption. Children born of carfentanil dependent mothers have low birth weight. Still, the use of carfentanil may lead to stillbirth or the death of a child after the 20th week of pregnancy (Jones et al., 2018). Other children may have infant death syndrome, the sudden death of a baby who is less than one-year-old.


The treatment of carfentanil addicts includes undergoing a professional detoxification program. Detoxification addresses the difficulties that addicts face when desiring to quit. Detoxification increases an individual stability and it deals with the immediate and toxic impacts of substance use (Stanciu, 2018). Therefore, detoxification is the step in rehabilitation. Detoxification is done at different levels including outpatient detox for patients with a strong support system. Inpatient detox is vital for patients with moderate to severe side effects while intensive detox is important for patients experiencing severe psychiatric issues and acute withdrawal signs.


Krokodil is among the worst drugs in the world. Krokodil is consumed by addicts to heroin when they can no longer obtain the same due to its high price and krokodil presents itself as a cheap alternative. The drug is made by crushing of codeine tablets and mixing them with either hydrochloric acid or red phosphorus. The drug has significant impacts including reducing an individual lifespan. Research reveals that the consumption of Krokodil for a single instance reduces an individual lifespan by two years (Alves, 2015). Krokodil has more devastating effects compared to cocaine or heroin

The use of krokodil leads to rotting of the human body both from the interior and the exterior. In extreme situations, it leads to exposure of the bone marrow after the fall of the muscles. Like crocodiles, the drug leads to scaly appearance and gangrenous skin. Moreover, a single injection of the drug leads to bursting of the surrounding blood vessels and consecutive death of the surrounding tissues (Alves, 2015). In some of the instances, the consumption of the drug leads to the falling off of the bones in chunks.

Impacts on Prenatal Development

The consumption of krokodil during pregnancy leads to the same side effects that the drug has on adults including rooting from the child from the inside. Therefore, prenatal development may be adversely impaired and it leads to stillbirth (Alves, 2015). It is difficult for a child to persevere the side effects of krokodil that include sores that are deep to the bone.


The first step towards the treatment of the side effects of Krokodil involves a psychological and physical examination. Diagnosis is vital to ascertain the extent of neurological and physical damage resulting from krokodil use. The Krokodil addicts require immediate medical attention to prevent the development of physiological complications. They also need antibiotics to fight infections and surgery in some instances for wound care (Poghosyan et al., 2014). Physicians require krokodil users to stop consuming the drug right away and it necessitates the implementation of measures to overcome withdrawal symptoms. Doctors prescribe powerful tranquilizers to help ease pain resulting from immediate withdrawal and to force some rest. During treatment, the care providers have to constantly monitor the vital signs with the aim of preventing the heart and breathing rate falling to dangerous levels.

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