Synthetic Drug Addiction Detox & Rehabilitation Services in the United States

Created On Wednesday, 10, April 2019
Modified On Friday, 10, September 2021


Any type of synthetic drug is a chemical that is made in a laboratory, where no naturally-occurring ingredients or products are used. There are numerous types of man-made drugs being abused throughout the United States. This does include synthetic ecstasy, LSD, methamphetamines, bath salts or manufactured stimulants, and synthetic marijuana. There are often hundreds of different designer drugs, which are being identified within the United States regularly. Unfortunately, many of these designer synthetic drugs are being manufactured in countries like China and being smuggled into the United States. Because these drugs are chemically created in a lab to mimic other drugs, such as stimulants or morphine and marijuana, they will have different effects on the brain. Designer drugs will cause a unique effect on the brain and change the behavior of the user. The strength and toxicity of these drugs are impossible to predict, and this is the reason why overdose is so likely. Anyone with an addiction to any synthetic drug should seek help immediately. The first step would be a drug detox program, followed ideally by an inpatient substance abuse treatment where the person can handle all aspects of their addiction problem.

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There have been hundreds of identified synthetic drugs within the United States, and more than 90 different man-made marijuana compounds. Some of the common effects of simulated drugs do include aggressive behavior, anxiety, paranoia, seizures or coma, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and even death. Within the United States, many of these synthetic drugs are being produced in other countries and being smuggled into the country. Fentanyl, for example, is an artificial opioid, which is contributing to the current opioid epidemic in the United States. Fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and the synthetic fentanyl is made this way and is nowhere near the same as pharmaceutical fentanyl. Many parts of the United States have problems with man-made marijuana or known as K2 or Spice. This is synthetic marijuana made in a lab and is not made from the cannabis plant. People who use this drug, thinking it is marijuana will experience negative reactions, some of which can be quite serious.

There are countless other synthetic drugs being produced, such as simulated LSD, which mimics the effects of LSD causing hallucinations and paranoia. There have been reports within the United States, where users who have taken this drug for the first time have died. Synthetic stimulants such as bath salts, have made headlines within the United States, and have become popular club drugs for many drug users. When you choose to use and abuse these drugs, you are increasing your risk for overdose and other serious health problems developing. Drug and alcohol treatment programs throughout the United States can help drug users who are taking these drugs. It will be important to find the right type of treatment, and some of these drugs will require a lengthy detox period to ensure you can stop using them safely. Fentanyl, for example, will need medical detox, because opioid withdrawals can be severe and dangerous. Synthetic drugs are popular all throughout the United States and are abused by people from all age groups and demographics. These types of drugs are often disguised as the substance you think you are purchasing, but the toxicity and effects are far more potent.

Our treatment specialists at will help you or your loved one to find a drug detox that will safely allow the detox procedure to occur, opening the door to a successful rehab and recovery program. Detox is the first step.


PCP is a highly dangerous drug not only to take but also to stop taking without very careful medical monitoring and care. This drug can cause schizophrenic type hallucinations and can lead to violent and destructive actions both to self or others in their vicinity. PCP was originally used by surgeons as an anesthetic, however, due to the number of patients who woke up delusional the drug was banned from medical use. As an alternative marketing strategy, Veterinarians were encouraged to use the drug for animals undergoing surgery, but PCP was also withdrawn from this market in 1978 for the same reasons as above. PCP is recognized as a dissociative drug, and has a history of being used as an anesthetic; however, it has displayed many different neurotoxic and hallucinogenic effects. In the year 1953, the drug was patented by Parke-Davis, which is a pharmaceutical company. The many effects of PCP, including the psychoactive ones, only last for a few hours; however, over an eight-day period, the drugs will remain in the body.


Phencyclidine (PCP) is a hallucinogenic drug that is addictive in nature. Having a trafficking rate higher than crack cocaine, this drug has harmful side effects, including:

  • Euphoria
  • Mood swings
  • Intense anger
  • Amnesia
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia

Withdrawal is a very dangerous process and should be supervised.


The abuse of PCP will cause an intense psychological dependence; physical detox symptoms will include agitation, anxiety, and some discomfort. Detox from PCP is necessary before the psychological damage can be treated at a drug and alcohol rehab program. Detox off the drug can last a few days.


During World War II, this drug was first used as a surgical anesthetic, but it displayed adverse side effects with patients, such as hallucinations, mania, delirium, and disorientation. The drug was later used once again and patented by the pharmaceutical company, Parke-Davis; however, it was soon removed from shelves because of side effects. In the late 1960s, the drug was marketed again as an anesthetic used in veterinary medicine but was again removed from shelves due to side effects. It was determined that this drug was completely unstable for any kind of medical use.


PCP can be bought and used in both a powder and liquid form. When it is smoked, it is typically sprayed on a cigarette, marijuana, oregano, parsley, or ginger. The slang term for smoking PCP is known as getting wet. A cigarette or marijuana joint can be dipped in PCP and then smoked by the user. This, unfortunately, has been an ever-growing problem in the USA. Typically, a PCP user can purchase these pre-dipped cigarettes for a price of 10-25 dollars. The powder form of PCP can be snorted and will cause significant health problems to the user, potentially even deadly. The pure form of PCP looks like a white crystalline powder and can be dissolved in water. Much of the PCP sold in the illicit market today contains other chemicals and will have a tint of brown to it, due to poor manufacturing.


The many behavioral side effects of PCP use can and will vary from dose to dose and user to user. When a small amount of PCP is taken, the person will feel effects such as numbness in their extremities, loss of balance, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. When a moderate dose of the drug is taken, the user will experience analgesia and anesthesia. When a high dose of PCP is taken, the drug user will have convulsions, and could possibly die from the dose taken.

Psychologically, a PCP drug user will experience changes in body image, loss of ego boundaries, depersonalization, hallucinations, and euphoria. One of the most dangerous aspect of this drug is that it does alter the mood of the user, causing them to become detached or extremely animated. A PCP user can and will act in some very unpredictable ways, and are normally driven by their own personal delusions and hallucinations caused by the drug.

These types of erratic behaviors have been known to cause PCP users to inflict injury on themselves and even commit suicide. It has also been seen for PCP users to attack others, and in the process, the user will feel less pain and will continue the attack for a longer period of time. This is very dangerous because, at this point the user could experience an induced psychotic state, making the user completely unpredictable.

How long does PCP stay in your system?

PCP can be tested using 4 different testing methods:

  • Urine test: 1-7 days for infrequent users, and 1-4 weeks for frequent users
  • Blood test: for up to 24 hours
  • Saliva test: from 1-10 days
  • Hair test: up to 90 days

Does PCP make a person feel no pain?

Because PCP acts as an anesthetic a person using it will not feel much, but this drug will cause severe psychotic breaks and psychosis, along with dangerous withdrawals and severe hallucinations. The drug acts as a central nervous system depressant and therefore, seizures and coma are two pitfalls that must be watched carefully for. Detox which includes medical monitoring for habitual PCP users must be considered mandatory for the reasons listed above.



Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.

Truth about Synthetic Drugs