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Designer Drugs

When you hear the term designer drug, you may have images of something only Hollywood elite could get their hands on. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Designer drugs are nothing more than a twist on a current drug, manufactured in illegal, underground secret labs.  Molly, MDMA, LSD, bath salts and meth are some of the most popular. When the properties of plant-derived drugs, such as cocaine or marijuana, are chemically altered, they produce a whole new drug that comes with all new effects for the user.

Today, the number of designer drugs on the black market is abundant and growing and because of the danger they pose, they are wreaking havoc on families. Only the illicit manufacturers know the ingredients of the designer drugs they produce, therefore, one really ever knows what they’re taking. This increases the potential for adverse reactions, ER visits, and potential overdose.

Common Designer Drugs in Florida

One of the new designer drugs to hit the scene in South Florida over the last couple of years has made major headlines Coined the “zombie drug,” for its bizarre and psychotic effects on users, Flakka is a combination of heroin and either crack or meth. The drug rampant in south Florida but has slowly made its way to the Midwest. Flakka is very popular among college students because of its potency and its price point – it’s cheap. The dangers immense. Flakka can spike a user’s body temperature to a whopping 104 degrees, and raise blood pressure, which could lead to kidney failure, stroke or heart attack. The drug, most often used in e-cigarettes, can cause severe hallucinations, anxiety paranoia, and psychosis.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a designer drug addiction, we can help. Our professionals are available 42/7 to answer any questions you may have. Call to get help now

Another popular designer drug in Florida is Molly, which is slang for molecular because the drug is the pure form of the club drug MDMA or Ecstasy. Many think the drug is “safer” to do than MDMA but just the opposite is true. Again, as in other designer drugs, the user can never be sure what they’re actually getting in the drug.  People who buy ecstasy or molly thinking it is pure MDMA might actually be taking speed or cocaine. Those who take bath salts and synthetic marijuana might be taking a new, unknown substance that can cause serious medical complications or end in overdose or death. Illicit manufacturers commonly include chemical compounds such as gasoline and household cleanser in designer drugs, and because they haven’t been tested on people, no one understands the long-term effects of their abuse. This is a frustration to law enforcement as well. Once a synthetic drug becomes outlawed, producers tweak the chemistry, creating a whole new drug.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recognizes the synthetic drug craze as a growing problem, stating “technological advances, market globalization, and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet is likely to generate a continuous flow of cheap psychoactive synthetic drugs for years to come.” 

The Florida medical examiners report relayed some grim numbers for state drug overdoses. Drug-related deaths increased significantly, including a 97 percent rise in deaths caused by the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The total number of drug-related deaths in Florida rose 22 percent from 2015 to 2016. More than 600 people died in 2016 with meth in their systems – that’s double 2015 numbers.

Signs of Addiction

The signs of addiction depend on the type of designer drug abused. If you think someone you know might have an addiction problem, you might notice:

  • Depression and irritability when not using, followed by an immediate improvement in mood when drugs are made available again
  • Lying about and hiding consumption from others
  • Skipping work, school or other important responsibilities to get high
  • Avoiding old friends and family to hang out alone or with a new crowd
  • Losing interest in once-enjoyed activities
  • Changes in weight and eating habits
  • Problems with money, relationships or the law — even if they don’t seem related to drug use

Side effects of designer drugs

Side effects can also vary, depending on the drug but they include:

  • Severe mood swings – depressions, agitation
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Violent behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks

Treatment for Designer Drug Addiction in Florida

If you or someone you care about is addicted to a designer drug such as molly, bath salts or synthetic marijuana, it’s time to get help. At 12 Keys Rehab, each patient will have an individualized treatment plan customized their specific needs. Our caring and knowledgeable staff is dedicating to helping you overcome addiction and any mental health barriers you are facing. Our holistic approach to treatment is unique in the industry. Not only do we provide true dual diagnosis treatment, addressing the addiction and behavioral health components of recovery, we focus on the overall health and wellness of our patients. Call us now to start your journey to sobriety! 866-480-4328


Withdrawal symptoms after frequent and extended use of designer drugs can be painful. At 12 Keys Rehab, we provide onsite medically supervised detox to ensure our patients have around-the-clock care from an expert staff. We provide a safe and comfortable environment to begin the recovery process.

Individualized Treatment Plan

Following detox, we employ the 12 Keys Model – a multi-disciplinary, multi-track method of treating addiction. This model involves continuous assessment, monitoring as well as individual and group counseling, 12-Step education and behavioral therapies. Our treatment methods are evidence-based, which means they have been backed by science and have proven results. Each person comes to 12 Keys with different challenges, therefore each will have an individual plan that addresses all of their treatment needs. We make sure our patients leave treatment with a solid aftercare plan to set them up for greater success when leaving treatment. With our proprietary JourneyPure Coaching™ app, we make it easy for patients to track daily recovery and wellness goals.

Contact 12 Keys Rehab to learn why our comprehensive holistic recovery plan can help lead you to a life of sobriety. Call today to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable admissions coordinators.

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12 Keys Rehab