Select Page

Synthetic Drug Addiction Intervention and Treatment in California



Synthetic drug addiction intervention and drug rehab in California treat all forms of synthetic drug addiction, whether involving opioids, marijuana, or cathinones. When searching for drug rehab programs in California, there are different options for the family to consider. Initially, a family should find drug rehab and drug detox programs through their private or state health insurance plans. Most health insurance covers some part of drug rehab, but the extent of coverage and what is paid for by health insurance depends on the plan type. Another option is an addiction assessment with a qualified healthcare professional, drug rehab referral agency, or certified interventionist. The purpose of an addiction assessment is to determine the extent and severity of addiction recommend drug rehab services in California. No single form of drug rehab is right for every person, and intervention and treatment settings should meet the needs of the addict. 


What are Synthetic Drugs and How Are They Used?

Synthetic drugs or designer drugs are manmade substances made in a lab to mimic the effects of other drugs. Synthetic drugs include Spice, K2 or synthetic marijuana, bath salts, synthetic cathinones, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Synthetic cannabinoids are mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried shredded plant material so the drug can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled. Common street names include K2, Spice, Joker, Black Mamba, Kush, and Kronic. Synthetic cathinones or bath salts are stimulants chemically related to cathinone, which is a substance found in the khat plant. Manmade versions of cathinones are much stronger than natural products and dangerous. Common street names include Cloud Nine, Vanilla Sky, and White Lightning.

Synthetic opioids include drugs like fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid analgesic similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids like it are responsible for thousands of drug overdose deaths. Common street names include Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfellas, Jackpot, Murder 8, and Tango and Cash. The abuse of these drugs has re-merged as a major worldwide problem. Typically, most of these drugs are ingested orally or smoked and rarely injected. The potency of these drugs is unpredictable because they are different from a controlled substance in their chemical structure while retaining their pharmacological effects. Drug rehab in California does offer effective treatment solutions for addicts addicted to synthetic drugs.


What Causes Synthetic Drug Addiction?

Synthetic drug addiction in California is a common problem among teens and young adults. Synthetic cannabinoids are popular drugs among the many other designer drug types. Synthetic drugs act similarly to stimulant, hallucinogen, and depressant drugs, making them appealing to recreational drug users. Unfortunately, most addicts are not always aware they are using synthetic drugs, and this increases the risk of overdose. These drugs cause addiction because of the effects they produce, and regular use of synthetic drugs creates physical and psychological dependence. The variety of synthetic drugs are appealing to drug users.

Spice, for example, causes the same effects as marijuana and popular among teens. Bath salts produce similar effects to ecstasy, cocaine, or meth and have the same addictive properties. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and produces intense euphoria and dangerous addiction. Molly is the recreation of MDMA and produces the same effects as ecstasy and can inhibit the characteristics of LSD, cocaine, and methamphetamine. FLAKKA produces similar effects to bath salts and is coined the zombie drug. Overall, the regular or recreational use of these drugs does lead to addiction, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Drug detox programs in California are the first step in treating synthetic drug addiction.


What are the Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Synthetic Drug Abuse?

The short-term and long-term effects of synthetic drug abuse vary depending on the drug type. Some of the common effects include rapid heart rate or breathing, hypertension, chest pain, seizures, intense cravings, irrational behavior, hallucinations, muscle pain, acute agitation, paranoia, emotional fragility, and diminished cognitive ability. The negative effects outweigh the euphoric effects of these drugs. There are physical and psychological risks that become worse the longer someone is abusing these drugs. Psychological, it can cause violent and irrational behavior and delirium. Physically, it causes dehydration, increased body temperature, vomiting, kidney failure, heart failure, seizures, tremors, coma, and death.

The effects of chronic use involving synthetic drugs become progressively worse. Every time someone uses a synthetic drug, they run the risk of experiencing potentially catastrophic immediate effects that could impact them in the long-term. For example, some of the permanent harm includes hallucinations and paranoia, which can lead to violent and unpredictable behavior. Drug users experience depression and suicidal thoughts, seizures that can cause brain damage, memory loss and lead to coma or death. Synthetic drug abuse causes liver, kidney, or heart failure, and like any other drug addiction, engaging in risky behavior increases other risks.


Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment and Detox in California

Synthetic drug addiction treatment and drug detox in California offer effective treatment solutions for all forms of synthetic drug addiction. The first step is drug detox to manage and ease withdrawal pain and discomfort. Drug detox varies, and the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms determines what method of detox is needed. Depending on the designer drug, there are different withdrawal symptoms that could require a medically supervised drug detox or standard drug detox. The next phase of drug rehabilitation involves attending a residential or outpatient drug rehab center in California.

Residential drug rehab offers more extensive counseling and therapy options. Common behavioral therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, or motivational interviewing. Patients also receive different forms of family, group, or individual therapy. Some drug rehab centers in California offer holistic drug rehab and faith-based treatment. It is also critical to follow through with aftercare support like 12-step meetings, peer support groups, and sober living homes. Aftercare support helps a recovering addict make a smooth transition back to society.


Family Intervention for Synthetic Drug Addiction in California

Family intervention in California is the best option to help an addict that is unwilling to accept help for their family. Family intervention motivates an addict to accept drug rehab but also demonstrates how their addiction has impacted their life and the lives of the people around them. The best way to plan and organize a family intervention is by hiring a professional interventionist. Family, friends, and the interventionist come together to confront the addict about their addiction. Family intervention is a carefully planned process and helps the family regain control. Unfortunately, synthetic drug addiction is problematic throughout the state, especially with synthetic opioids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 45% of drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved opioids. Among the opioid-involved deaths that year, the largest increase involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. Overall, it was more than a 60% increase from 536 in 2017 to 865 deaths in 2018.



National Institute on Drug Abuse. Synthetic Cannabinoids. October 2017. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/synthetic-cannabinoids-k2spice-unpredictable-danger


NIDA. “Fentanyl DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 28 Feb. 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/fentanyl


DEA. Designer Drugs. Drug Facts. https://www.dea.gov/taxonomy/term/341


NIDA. “California: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3 Apr. 2020, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/california-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms