What Are Street Drugs?
Street drugs are substances that are illicitly made and sold in an uncontrolled environment. Some of the most common street drugs include meth, crystal meth, MDMA, ecstasy, Spice, and K2. The use of these substances is extremely dangerous and even one bout of experimentation can have deadly consequences. Those who use street drugs likely don’t know where they were made, who made them, and what exactly is in the compound purchased. Potency is another unknown that makes it impossible to properly determine dosage and predict the severity of the effects the drug will have. These are all reasons why using one of these substances even a single time could be the start of an addiction difficult to escape and why you may need the help of a street drug detox program.
Length of Detox
There are several factors that contribute to the length of time it takes to detox from street drugs. The first of which is what substance or substances were used. Additional factors include how much was ingested, frequency of use, and method of ingestion. These all affect the level of dependence the brain and body may have developed to the substances, and how long it will take to return to normal. For some people, the street drug detox period will last about a week. Individuals with a severe chemical dependence and progressed addiction may experience various withdrawal symptoms over a more extended period of time. It is possible that some of the damage done by these drugs is irriversable.
In almost all cases of detox connected with street drugs, a medically assisted detox program with group therapy and individual counseling is necessary. This type of program can help manage mild and severe withdrawal symptoms, while providing the tools for a smooth transition into sobriety. A detox program can also reduce the rates of relapse and other withdrawal related complications.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
- Muscle aches
- Gastrointestinal Distress
- Bone and Joint Pain
- Increased Sensitivity to Pain
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Other Physical Symptoms
How to Spot Street Drug Addiction
A discussed above, synthetic street drugs are in many ways an unknown and quickly lead to addiction and physical dependence. These drugs are made by so called “chemists” that do not have proper training or a scientific background. They are unetical individuals that are primarily motivated by money and do not care about who they hurt or the lives they destroy along the way. At best, street drugs are amateur science experiments containing unknown chemicals. It is impossible to know what the short or long term physical, emotional and psychological effects will be when these substances are ingested.
If you sense that a loved one may be abusing street drugs, trust your instincts and take action to try and get them the help they need.
Symptoms of Street Drug Abuse
- Lackadaisical energy, with a tendency to doze off
- Skin looks flushed
- Tendency to neglect hygiene and grooming
- Breathing that is slow
- Runny nose and cold symptoms
- Impaired speech
- Eyelids hang low and appear tired, pupils will appear small
- Tendency to itch and scratch
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
The Dangers of Street Drugs
While the use of pharmaceutical drugs carry some risks, street drugs bring with them entirely more dangerous possibilities. MDMD, ecstacy, meth, and other street and synthetic drugs could have been “manufactured” in any number of environments. One thing is for sure, it was like a setting that is less than favorable to be cooking pontent chemicals intended to be ingested. Most illicitly-made drugs are made in dirty apartments, kitchens, bathrooms, and warehouses. They might even be marketed as providing a “safe-high” even though they are made with highly addictive substances such as heroin. This is done intentionally to create an dependency that keeps customers coming back for more time and time again.
Common Health Risks
Another complication caused by the unknowns of street drugs and their composition, is that it is very difficult to understand exactly what the long term effects are and their causes. However, brain scans of individuals who have used street and synthetic drugs show clear brain damage. Scans using Gamma rays and single photon emission tomography technology allowed doctors to develop 3D brain images revealing the extent of street drug-related brain damage. Blood vessels become impaired and constrict circulation to various regions of the brain, causing gaps of function that may never heal. These drugs can cause a lack of blood flow to certain areas of the brain and the images clearly showed the damage that was done.
Although we understand how alcohol, cocaine, and heroin can impact an individuals health over a long period of time, there is still so little known about street drugs. This is why it is so critical to avoid the use of these substances or to discontinue use immediately.
Overdose and Death
Synthetic fentanyl is the number one cause for overdose deaths, but other street drugs are also major contributors. Overdose and possible death is the greatest risk with taking these illicit substances. There is no way to know how much will cause an overdose because there is so little know about the composition of these substances. Unaware of what addictive substances are present, a street drug user may develop signs of addiction. Every single time a synthetic street drug is ingested, they may be progressing their addiction in addition to their risk of death. Get the help of a street drug detox program to save the live of yourself or a loved one and keep an addiction from progressing even further.
Here are signs that you or someone you love can look for:
- Craving and urges
- Depression, paranoia & anxiety
- Poor judgement, uncharacteristic or risky behavior (criminal acts, lying to obtain substances)
- Physical dependence, or withdrawal like symptoms
- Neglect of responsibilities, failure to meet obligations
- Tolerance build up, more of the drug is needed to achieve effects
- Self-isolating, withdrawing from family and healthy friends and relationships
- New friends, spending time with unhealthy relationships or other nefarious characters, or people who share drug habits
- Financial issues, drug use has begun to drain their resources