Synthetic drugs-Fast facts for families
Like fashion trends, synthetic drugs may seem popular one day then out of flavour the next.
Synthetics are not one type of drug but a general term for substances that are designed to mimic or produce similar effects to common illicit drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, LSD and heroin. Despite the fact that many are also called legal highs, many of these chemicals are illegal in Victoria.
NEDs (new and emerging drugs), NPSs (new psychoactive substances), legal highs, research chemicals, plant food, bath salts (Flakka), cathinones, phenethylamines, tryptamines, mephedrone (meow, miaow-miaow), NBOMe, synthetic cocaine (white bull), herbal highs, or herbal incense.
Synthetic Cannabis is known as spice, Kronic, X, tai high Hawaiian haze, Amsterdam gold, black mamba, Blue lotus.
HOW COMMON IS USAGE?
Like fashion trends, synthetic drugs may seem popular one day then out of favour the next. It is therefore difficult to get up to date statistics on who is using what, when. A small percentage of the calls to YoDAA are concerning synthetic drugs – usually synthetic cannabis. In our experience, users of synthetic drugs often find the side effects of these substances outweigh the benefits and with time, they lose their appeal so that the original drug is preferred.
HOW CAN I TELL IF A YOUNG PERSON IS USING?
Signs to look out for will depend on the substance that the synthetic is designed to mimic. For example a young person using synthetic cocaine may appear more alert and talkative whilst a young person using synthetic cannabis may appear slower and glassy eyed.
It is tempting to want to know what they have used however we cannot be 100% sure of what is in drugs these days. Therefore if a young person is distressed, overheating, or acting in a way that is concerning it is best to treat the symptom.
YoDAA aims to keep abreast of latest trends across the state. Didn’t find what you are looking for? We know families and carers can be pretty worried when they are looking for info so we’ve just given you the most relevant fast facts for families and carers. For a more comprehensive guide we recommend the ADF’s fact sheet. Remember, we understand how stressful it can be when you are worried about a young person.