Dangers of Synthetic Drugs, also known as Designer Drugs
How would you feel if you found your teenage son or daughter dead? And how would you feel if you subsequently learned that the death had been caused by the use of drugs? This is probably every parent’s worst nightmare, especially as it’s a totally needless death and, what’s more, a preventable one.
The reality is that not just drugs but, in particular synthetic drugs, also known as designer drugs, have worse side effects than the true drugs they mimic. And while no parent wants to see his or her child using drugs, designer drugs carry a far higher risk than true drugs.
Chase Burnett is a case in point.
Chase wasn’t your typical stoner teen. An honor roll student and member of his high school’s soccer team, he lived his short life in the suburbs of Atlanta, and his mother described him as “a joy to be around.”
But his life ended abruptly in his family’s hot tub when Chase was just 16. A bag of synthetic marijuana was found in the vicinity of his lifeless body.
Chase’s father, David, was utterly clueless that his son was using synthetic drugs—and in fact, as the facts emerged later, Chase had experimented with synthetic marijuana only a very limited number of times.
But that was all it took to kill him.
As David Burnett explained it to CNN, “What killed Chase was the synthetic cannabinoid poisoning. The chemicals that were sprayed onto the leaves shut his lungs down. He suffered a violent death. He asphyxiated and suffocated, and he obviously became unconscious.”
It was the elder Burnett who discovered Chase’s lifeless body in the hot tub. What a terrible tragedy, senseless and needless, and what an awful situation for a father to have to endure.
Chase’s mother spoke to CNN of the fact that teenagers can be misled by the fact that the drugs are sold openly in such venues as gas stations, misled into thinking that the drugs are safe because they are legal and sold openly.
But they are legal only because the manufacturers, most of whom are in China, keep one step ahead of the law by changing the formulas each time the government outlaws another chemical, set of chemicals, or chemical combination.
Prior to 2010, there were no laws, either state or federal, outlawing these synthetic drugs. Belatedly the government began to declare these drugs illegal, but as soon as one chemical or chemical combination became illegal, the manufacturers reformulated their drugs so that they did not contain any of the banned substances. Accordingly the synthetic marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs remained technically legal and available on the open market. They are for sale not only in such drug-associated venues as head shops but also in such seemingly innocent emporia as gas stations.
The chemical changes can radically alter the way that these drugs affect the body. Michael Baumann, PhD, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says that even subtle changes in the chemical makeup of these drugs can radically change the ways in which these drugs affect a user’s body. He calls it “a dangerous game,” saying, “You don’t even know what is in these substances.”
Let’s give the last word to Steve Pasierb of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. He says, “We know from all the research that kids who learn a lot about the drug issue at home…are half as likely to use.”
Do you suspect your teen is or might be using? If you suspect he or she is using synthetic drugs, get in touch with us for help. Go to http://satoriwaters.com/ or call 855-9SATORI. We’re ready to help you.