What are Designer Drugs?

designer drugs

A designer drug is a drug whose properties have been chemically and illegally altered in a lab to mimic other drugs but with new and often more powerful effects on the brain and the body.

These drugs are also called synthetic drugs, because of their chemical creation, or club drugs, because of their common recreational use in nightclubs. Designer drugs are so dangerous because the potency can vary greatly depending on where it was made and what other drugs are potentially laced with it, drugs that a consumer is probably not aware are present when they’re consuming it. Because they lack uniformity, designer drugs are risky concoctions that can lead to dangerous side effects like hallucinations, dizziness, violent outbreaks, headaches, vomiting, heart complications, and more. Our Banyan Treatment Center Chicago works with people who suffer from designer drug addictions to help them avoid such a dangerous and uncertain future. Some people become addicted to designer drugs because of a pre-existing mental health disorder that requires dual diagnosis treatment in order to get better.

Designer Drugs Examples

Because these drugs are created in chemistry labs and are not being regulated, the countless types of extremely addictive designer drugs can be really dangerous, sometimes even fatal. Some of the more common types of designer drugs include:

  • MDMA or Ecstasy
  • Rohypnol or Roofies, known as the date rape drug
  • LSD or acid
  • Methamphetamine or Meth or Crystal Meth
  • Ketamine
  • GHB (Gamma hydroxybutyrate)
  • Bath salts

These club drugs, while seemingly harmless for a fun night out, can have devastating results. What starts as recreational and occasional drug use can shift into a serious drug dependence that requires drug rehab to kick the habit. Designer drugs may seem like a fun time in college, but they can have devastating consequences on a person’s life as well as everyone around them. If you suspect that someone you love is using designer drugs and requires drug rehab in Chicago, you want to get them help immediately. At Banyan Chicago, we work with people who are abusing designer drugs get the help they need to get their life back on track.

Whether you require medically-monitored detox or PHP treatment, if you or someone you know is looking for help to deal an addiction problem, you should reach out to our drug and alcohol treatment center immediately.

Contact us today at 888-280-4763 to start taking steps in the right direction.


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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.