Illegal and medical drugs are well cataloged all around the world. In Canada, the Canadian Food and Drug Act and Regulation decide what can or cannot be sold in Canada. It also decides which drugs require a prescription and which are sold over the counter along with their use and distribution within our borders.
But some people find ways to counter these laws by creating new chemical substances resembling categorized drugs. Since the chemical structure is different they do not fall under existing laws and cannot be classified as illegal drugs. In many countries, these can be sold without legal ramifications since they are not part of the list of controlled substances. In the US reports of “Bath salts” and “Krokodil” were publicized a few years back. Synthetic cannabis has also made an appearance in the designer drug world. Called “synthetic marijuana,” “herbal incense,” or “herbal smoking blends” also known as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Krypton to name a few.
The ingredients and potency of designer drugs vary a lot. Because they are made illegally in underground labs it is difficult or nearly impossible to know what is in them or what effect they will have on people. They have been known to have dangerous side effects. Some designer drugs can be much stronger than the drugs they resemble, this increases the chance of overdose. Also, small errors in their production could result in something very different and deadlier than what was sought after in the first place.
There have been instances where controlled substances such as heroin and Oxy’s have been altered chemically in British Columbia. Though each on their own is a controlled substance in Canada, once they get chemically reworked they create a new drug and not enforceable by law, a designer drug.
The whole reason behind creating designer drugs is to somehow find a way to avoid the existing drug laws and regulations on controlled substances. In some cases, the chemist will take an existing compound of cocaine and break it down to reconstruct it with new and different chemicals that give (hopefully) the same or similar effect. When these drugs are confiscated and brought to trial in a court of law, they will be found to not exist in the controlled substance act and therefore not actionable; of course, this takes a good defense attorney.
There exists at this writing a long list of designer drugs and the scariest part is that as soon as one has been verified and cataloged and passed through the controlled drug act, there are many new designer drugs being put on the market. This is the short version in explaining what and how designer drugs came to be. The most important thing to know is that if you or a loved one is struggling with a designer drug addiction you will require a thorough drug assessment, blood test including toxicology test to determine the protocol for withdrawal management by professional detox centers.