Facts about Synthetic Drugs


Synthetic drugs, also referred to as designer or club drugs, are chemically-created in a lab to mimic another drug such as marijuana, cocaine or morphine.

The resulting designer drugs typically have a new different effect on the brain or behavior. Because these drugs are created in illegal labs, their ingredients and strength are almost impossible to know. 

There are more than 200 identified synthetic drug compounds and more than 90 different synthetic drug marijuana compounds.

Many of these synthetic drugs are made in foreign countries and then smuggled into the United States. Clandestinely-made drugs have no manufacturing safety standards that are normally required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The effects of synthetic drug use can include: anxiety, aggressive behavior, paranoia, seizures, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting and even coma or death. 


fentanyl next to penny


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, fentanyl is also misused. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl.



Spice or K2 on white paper

Synthetic Marijuana

K2 and Spice are synthetic marijuana compounds, also known as cannabinoids. But there are more. In fact, there are approximately 90 different synthetic marijuana chemical compounds. Spice has recently made headlines due to hundreds of people having negative reactions to the product across the country.  




Synthetic LSD

Synthetic LSD, better known as “N-Bomb” or “Smiles,” is a phenethylamine. This type of synthetic drug mimics the effects of LSD, causing hallucinations and paranoia. The chemical names of N-Bomb and smiles are 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe. Read about a teen who died from trying N-Bomb his first time.



ecstacy pills

Synthetic Stimulants

Synthetic drug stimulants, also known as cathinones, mimic the effects of ecstasy or MDMA. Bath salts and Molly are examples of synthetic cathinones. 




PCPSynthetic PCP

MXE, or Methoxamine, is a synthetic compound that mimics the effects of PCP (phencyclidine) causing delusions, psychoses and a detached effect.

Is it dangerous and harmful to use these substances? Yes it is! Watch the video about the dangers of synthetic drugs.