Designer Drugs—Made-to-Measure they Come with a Sweet Tooth

Part I

Designer drugs
(Photo by B. Christopher/Alamy Stock Photo)

Designer drugs can involve chemical complexities that only the laboratory scientist can explain to us but which leave the “man in the street” baffled and bemused. For the pusher, dealer, supplier, and manufacturer of designer drugs they are a no-brainer. With plentiful chemical supply lines going into a lab and an abundant supply of designer drugs coming out of the lab—the result is a means for everyone in the business of designer drugs to make as much money as they like.

Many illegal designer drugs look like sweets, many are multicoloured, and many look like the capsules or pill sheets for flu and tummy bugs normally dispensed at the local doctor’s surgery. When such designer drug pills are offered to a druggie he may not have a clue as to what is in them and unfortunately due to his state of mind couldn’t care anyway. All the addict is interested in is removing himself from the problems in life that cannot be confronted.

Let me explain a little more about these designer drugs. To the layman, designers are those that create something new. The year’s newest cars, the most advanced railway trains, aeroplanes that fly the fastest, the newest load-bearing bridges across our rivers, the latest in laptops, PCs and TV’s are very good modern designer examples. Designer clothing keeps you warm on the ski slopes or getting the best tan in San Tropez in the film season. Designer-made fashion items are all the rage so why not designer drugs?

It just means in the field of illegal substances that a drug is created in a laboratory by a scientist rather than processing something that grows naturally like marijuana or cocaine. The designer drug induces the same or similar effects as the natural drug would. As law enforcement spot the new designer drug and classify it as illegal the scientist will make a tiny chemical tweak to it and presto—a new designer drug not yet classed as illegal hits the market.

(We are talking here about under-the-radar, illegal unlicensed lab people, not the lab scientists creating drugs that aid healing in our research organizations or hospitals.)

As these tweaked, chemical pills hit the market, they are of course not classed as illegal, hence the term legal high came into being. As time marches on and the law catches up—the formula is classed as illegal. It is tweaked again and the new formula is not yet illegal and so it goes on, round and round.

The real side effects of designer drugs can of course only come from observation and examination. Some deaths are believed to have come from designer drugs but there is little, if any research on their toxicity or pharmacology. Vasoconstriction (narrowing of arterial blood vessels) is one such effect believed to be caused by designer drugs but no long-term studies have been done yet so no one really knows.

When appropriate research is complete we will have information that can be used in educating our younger generation about the effects and death prospects of these “attractive sweets” and then some headway can be made in how to avoid designer drugs and the misery they bring to the user.



Jemima J. Jones

A writer that tells it like it is. She has been there done that and got the T-shirt.