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How the Dangers of Natural Drugs Compare to Synthetics

Spice is a commonly abused synthetic drug

Both synthetic and natural drugs pose numerous dangers to physical and mental health including the development of addiction. Synthetic drugs are created in order to mimic the effects of natural substances but enhance the wanted effect or reduce the unwanted side effects. Natural drugs are substances that are found naturally in the environment typically in the leaves or sap of certain plants. In most cases synthetic drugs are deemed to be more dangerous than naturally occurring substances as there are other harmful chemicals present in synthetic drugs. Both natural and synthetic drugs pose serious health consequences and neither should be taken lightly. Natural drugs are very dangerous and commonly cause numerous adverse effects. Some of the common natural drugs and how they can affect a person include the following:

  • Cannabis – Otherwise known as marijuana this drugs adversely affects memory, motor skills, learning, reaction time, anxiety and depression. Long term marijuana use has been associated with permanent adverse changes to cognitive function. People with pre-existing mood disorders, whether they are known or unknown, can experience intensified mood swings and psychosis. Chronic smoking of marijuana can cause respiratory inflammation and cancerous cells can develop in the airways which can be fatal. Marijuana use is also linked to adverse effects on male sperm production and female reproductive systems causing infertility.
  • Opium – While the synthesized derivatives of opium such as heroin can pose much more dangerous effects, the pure form of opium from the poppy plant can be smoked also leading to adverse health effects. Smoking opium can release harmful chemicals into the lungs potentially leading to the development of fatal lung cancer. The liver, kidneys, heart and brain can also be damaged by opium use. Opium has a high potential to cause addiction which leads to numerous physical, mental, relational and financial consequences.
  • Psilocybin mushrooms – Commonly referred to as “shrooms” or “magic mushrooms” these types of psychedelic effects can be found in over 200 species of mushrooms. An immediate danger of psychedelic mushrooms is that they are closely related and characteristic to poisonous and lethal mushrooms. So if a person does not know a lot about psychedelic mushrooms he or she can easily mistake them for lethal ones. Psychedelic mushrooms can also lead to brain damage, permanent personality changes, anxiety disorders, paranoia and psychosis.

Synthetic drugs exhibit similar effects and can be equally dangerous, or even more dangerous in some cases. The potential for addiction is highly prevalent whether or not a drug is synthetic or natural and the consequences associated with addiction can be life altering. Seeking out and receiving professional treatment in an in-patient rehab setting is essential to a safe and successful recovery from drug abuse and addiction.

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