Since the beginning of time, the idea of an alternate reality has enticed humanity. These days, this hasn’t changed too much. In the beginning, shamans would spend their days under the influence of mescaline or similar substances, speaking to the Gods, these days people can walk to the convenience store and get some legal, yet mind altering, substances.

A designer drug is a drug that has the effects of various existing drugs yet is a synthetic copy of the drug. For example, ‘Bath Salts’ is the equivalent of cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy, and ‘K2’ or ‘Spice’ has the same effects as marijuana. All these designer drugs still have negative side effects and are life threatening. They are still addictive and users can end up having to be admitted to a rehab treatment centre.

The increasing usage of designer drugs seems to be unstoppable. If a synthetic drug becomes classified as illegal, the creators simply change a compound, rename it and escape the illegal classification. For example 2Cb, similar to ecstasy, was made illegal and then changed and resold as 2Ci. They are also easily accessible because people can get their hands on them via the Internet, or by simply walking into a convenience store, not to forget that you can probably walk into a sex shop and find them there too.

Also, it is important to note that these drugs are not picked up on drug tests. It is common to find addicts participating in drug rehab will pick up these synthetic drugs so as not to be caught out, while still feeding their addiction. The scariest part about it, is that because a lot of these drugs are legal, people perceive them to be ok to try or even use on a regular basis. In other words, users rationalise around it, telling themselves that they it’s ok.

At the end of the day, if one needs to put something in their body in order to feel, or not feel or escape or change their perspective etc. then that’s not healthy. We simply need a body, a mind, food, shelter, clothing, some inspiration and fulfilment and all of those things are not far from our reach. With some hard work and the ability to say ‘no thank you’, these drugs don’t have to be in your life.