What Is the Difference Between Organic and Synthetic Drugs?

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What Is the Difference Between Organic and Synthetic Drugs?

Spice is a commonly abused synthetic drug

Organic drugs are substances that can be found naturally in the environment and produce certain effects without be chemically altered. Synthetic drugs are substances not found naturally in the environment but are manufactured through chemical synthesis. Organic drugs are often plant based substances that grow naturally in certain environments and examples include the following:

  • Cannabis – Also known as marijuana, this plant contains several psychoactive compounds with the most prevalent being THC. Cannabis can be found naturally and is also intentionally grown for recreational and medicinal purposes. The psychoactive compounds in cannabis can produce intense euphoria and relaxation which is often desirable to recreational users. The adverse effects of marijuana can include decrease in short-term memory, decreased motor skills, paranoia, and anxiety
  • Mushrooms – There are over 200 species of mushrooms that contain psychedelic drug compounds known as psilocybin and psilocin. These types of mushrooms are commonly referred to as shrooms or magic mushrooms. In some cases poisonous and sometimes lethal, wild mushrooms are mistaken for psychedelic mushrooms which can increase the risk of accidental death. Psychedelic mushrooms often produce visual and auditory hallucinations that in most cases are deemed pleasant.
  • Opium poppy – The opium poppy plant is a particular species of poppy plants where opium and poppy seeds are derived from. Opium is the natural source of many narcotic substances like morphine and thebaine which contain sedative properties. Opium can produce a state of euphoria along with effective pain relief.

Synthetic drugs are designed to produce a more specific and seemingly controlled effect. However, even synthetic drugs can be unpredictable and dangerous as many of them contain unnatural and dangerous chemicals. Some examples of synthetic drugs include the following:

  • MDMA – Also known as ecstasy MDMA is a synthetic psychoactive substance in the same class as amphetamines. MDMA can produce a strong state of euphoria, an increased sense of intimacy with others, decreased anxiety levels, and psychedelic sensations. Adverse effects of MDMA can include nausea, depression, confusion and sleep problems.
  • Bath salts – These chemical substances are a relatively new family of synthetic drugs that got their name from being labeled as bath salts as to avoid suspicion because they look similar to real bath salts. Bath salts typically contain numerous chemical compounds which have similar affects as amphetamines. The drug can produce euphoria, increased sociability and an increased sex drive. Some of the dangers of bath salts include hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, violent behavior, heart failure and an increased risk of suicide.
  • Heroin – Heroin is a synthetic derivative of opium and when it enters a person’s system it converts into morphine. It can produce intense states of euphoria, relaxation, anxiety reduction, detachment from surroundings, as well as effective pain relief. Heroin abusers are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B through the sharing of injection needles.

Organic and synthetic drugs have the potential for addiction and numerous other adverse health effects both short and long-term. Seeking out immediate professional treatment from a licensed rehab facility is essential to avoiding the consequences of continued drug abuse.

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