Legal-Highs Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Rehabilitation

There has been a disturbing increase in the use over the last ten years of synthetic drugs known as new psychoactive substances, also known as legal highs, due to their uncertain standing in the eyes of the law.

At Detox Plus UK, we find ourselves helping addicts to break free from these drugs more and more. Legal-high drugs are not only extremely dangerous, but they can also take over a person’s life. Those receiving treatment for a legal-high addiction may be familiar with the origins of psychoactive substances, otherwise known as designer drugs. Created as a by-product of experimenting with the chemical makeup of pre-existing drugs and containing elements of both legal and illegal substances, it is designed to replicate the effects of narcotics like cannabis, heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.

If you are concerned about your addiction to a legal-high, and it has become a problem, then legal-high addiction treatment is available. 

the legal high drug spice or k2 leaves

Legal-highs are usually produced in secret locations and underground or homemade laboratories. They are invariably sold online or in what is known as ‘head shops’, and often purchased as part of drug paraphernalia. The substances were designated unfit for human consumption and were widely sold as bath salts, incense, and potpourri or plant food.

Those either experimenting with legal-highs or battling an addiction requiring treatment can purchase the substance in various forms, such as powder, pills, capsules and perforated tabs. There have also been instances of people taking smoking mixtures and injecting legal-highs, which may call for hospital treatment. Legal-highs, often called club drugs, generally come in three main categories: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants, which were regularly sold as bath salts but replicate methamphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine. There are many different types of legal-highs, which could lead to addiction, although the effects are eliminated with treatment.

Legal-highs are produced in illegal laboratories, which makes measuring their toxicity and potency, as well as examining their ingredients, extremely difficult. Those struggling with addiction or wishing to sample a  legal-high should be aware of the legislation. The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into law on the 26th of May of that year. It states that the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal-highs is a criminal offence, and if convicted, the sentencing can be up to seven years in prison. For this reason, the term’ legal-high’ has now been replaced with “new psychoactive substances” (NSPs). The Government are challenged to enforce legislation by the basic fact that new synthetic drugs are being introduced to the market every week.

People receiving treatment for legal-high addiction may have taken synthetic stimulants such as Flakka, Bubble, M-Cat, Miaow Miaow, or Mephedrone. There are synthetic cannabinoids like Annihilation, Black Mamba and Spice, as well as synthetic hallucinogens, including foxy methoxy, 25I-NBOMe, Benzo Fury and N-Bomb.

Those with an addiction to a  legal-high, alongside other psychoactive substances, can experience a wide range of effects. Many of which may require treatment. Stimulants can make you feel energised and bring on euphoria, in the vein of ecstasy, cocaine or amphetamines, which can result in addiction. Sedatives such as methoxetamine, often referred to as downers, can also make you feel euphoric, as well as drowsy or relaxed. Their effects are similar to benzodiazepines, like Valium or diazepam. There are also psychedelic legal-highs such as NBOMe, otherwise known as hallucinogens, which can change a person’s perception and can indeed make them hallucinate, hence the name. They behave like methoxetamine, ketamine, magic mushrooms and LSD. Those in need of treatment for an addiction to legal-highs may also be taking synthetic cannabinoids like Black Mamba or Spice, with effects comparable to cannabis. They can also make a person feel energised and euphoric and bring on feelings of relaxation and intoxication, as well as altering someone’s perception. These are among the numerous widely known symptoms of using so-called legal-highs.

Many people do not seem to realise that psychoactive substances can have the same properties as other drugs, including cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines, which can end in addiction, necessitating treatment. The drug is invariably taken recreationally, but long-term use could bring about cravings or a compulsion to continue. Users may also fear undergoing withdrawal as part of their treatment, which can be especially true if the drug contains sedatives or stimulants. This can cause a great deal of uneasiness for a person coming off drugs like downers, which can bring about major symptoms. The physical signs of withdrawal can be markedly hazardous for long-time users who may be forced to undergo treatment. These are among the many risks of developing an addiction.

Those caught in the grip of a legal-high addiction and considering treatment should know that, in most of cases, the chemicals used in the creation of legal-highs have not been through safety tests, meaning there is no way of knowing what the drugs contain and how they could potentially affect you. In many instances, the substances can contribute to seizure paranoia and may cause users to fall into a coma, necessitating hospital treatment. They may even result in sudden death. The dangers of legal-highs are enhanced when mixed with alcohol or any other psychoactive substance, as well as being administered through injection.

The Signs & Symptoms of Legal-highs Addiction

For those running the risk of addiction, or especially if using for the first time, the consequences of taking legal-highs may be severe and could end up with the user requiring treatment. Users may have a false belief that the substance is safe, making them open to several health risks, such as a loss of inhibitions or excessive risk-taking activities. The drug also has several hazardous side effects, ranging from mood swings, insomnia, overheating or hyperthermia to high blood pressure. There is a heightened chance of addiction, psychosis and even heart failure or dangerous respiratory issues, among other problems.

If you are worried about your addiction, and you would like to get clean? The first step in getting legal high treatment is contacting our trained counsellors to evaluate the seriousness of your problem. We can offer treatments that are designed to help you overcome your addiction and rebuild your life, where you can benefit from an all-embracing rehabilitation programme, employing the most up-to-date methods to assist you. Those dealing with addiction can experience synthetic drug rehabs, where people undergoing treatment will be offered both legal-high detox and legal-high rehab treatment.

Once the clinics have handled the physical side of addiction, patients then move to comprehensive rehabilitation treatment. It is comprised of a thorough therapeutic programme covering the physical, psychiatric or spiritual side of addiction, where they will get to the root of the addiction by focusing on physical or psychological health as part of the treatment. They will also integrate an all-encompassing mental and physical wellness programme in the treatment, as well as in-depth holistic therapies to help you battle your dependency.

If you are living with a legal-high addiction and you wish to remove it from your life for good. We can provide the information and support you need to overcome this difficult time.


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