Focused Treatment
Medically Assisted Synthetic Drug Detox

Are you or someone you love considering a synthetic drug detox? At Guardian Recovery Network we understand how difficult synthetic drug withdrawal can be. The symptoms make quitting hard even when someone desperately wants to stop. The key to overcoming this obstacle is a medically supervised detox where withdrawal symptoms can eased with medication in a comfortable, supportive, homestyle environment. Beyond physical stabilization, detox is also an important time to plan a path forward in recovery. At Guardian Recovery Network we first provide a safe, pain-free detox, then we get to work putting together a plan for long-term sobriety. We perform an in-depth initial evaluation and tailor a treatment plan unique to each client’s needs and recovery goals.

About Synthetic Drugs

In 2008 the Office of National Drug Control Policy published a warning that referred to synthetic drugs as a rapidly emerging threat. Synthetic drugs — also called “designer drugs’ — are man-made drugs manufactured to produce a high similar to illicit drugs. Street names for some common synthetic drugs are Spice, K2, Bath Salts, Molly, Ecstasy, Flakka and Meow Meow.

Synthetic cannabinoids — a synthetic drug that tries to mimic the high of Marijuana — were first reported in the U.S. in 2008 when a shipment of Spice was discovered and seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Since first introduced in the country there has been an increasing amount of differing synthetic drugs available to members of the general public — and some synthetic drugs are easy to obtain. Some are even sold directly out of gas stations or liquor stores, marketed as something entirely different (and often marketed to teenagers and young adults). Because the contents of these drugs are constantly changing, it is impossible to accurately pinpoint their effects. While health warnings have been widely and repeatedly issued, the quickly changing variety of chemicals used during the synthetic drug manufacturing process makes government regulation incredibly difficult.

If you or someone close to you has been abusing a synthetic drug of any variety, seeking professional addiction treatment sooner rather than later is of the utmost importance. Because the short-term effects of these drugs are so unpredictable and because there is still not much known regarding their lasting effects, seeking treatment is essential to avoiding both short and long-term health related consequences. Guardian Recovery Network is available to help. Our program of medically monitored detox is both comprehensive and individualized, and focuses on much more than physical stabilization. We equip our clients with the healthy coping mechanisms and life skills they need to maintain solid sobriety for years to come. contact us any time to learn more about how we address synthetic drug detox.

What Are Synthetic Drugs?

There are two main types of synthetic drugs — synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a detailed warning that explains the characteristics of each synthetic drug. The differences between the two drugs are as follows:

  • Synthetic cannabinoids – Synthetic cannabinoids were developed to mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Chemicals are sprayed directly onto a plant-like material and sold under a variety of names including Spice, Green Giant and Joker. The short-term side effects of synthetic cannabinoid abuse include extreme anxiety, panic attacks, agitation, increased blood pressure and heart rate, delusions, hallucinations and psychotic episodes. There have also been several overdose-related deaths reported that were directly linked to synthetic cannabinoids.
  • Synthetic cathinones –  Synthetic cathinones were developed to mimic the active ingredient found in numerous stimulant drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA. This type of synthetic drug is most commonly referred to as “bath salts,” and it can be purchased in a number of unsuspecting places, including at many head shops and over the internet. Synthetic cathinone users experience a range of short-term effects that are both physical and psychological in nature, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, chest pains, violent outbursts, erratic behavior, extreme anxiety and paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. Bath salts have also been linked to seizures and other serious health-related complications that could be fatal if not immediately treated.

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Synthetic Drug Addiction
Signs & Symptoms

  • Taking more of the substance than intended for a longer period of time than intended
  • Continuing to use the drug despite a range of personal consequences, which could be legal, financial, health-related or interpersonal
  • Experiencing noticeable changes to mood, coupled with erratic and unpredictable behavioral patterns
  • A lack of motivation to participate in activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Isolation from close friends and family members
  • A compromised performance at work or at school
  • A lack of attention paid to personal hygiene, which could include not brushing teeth, not showering or wearing the same clothing for days in a row
  • An increase in risk-taking behaviors
  • Developing a physical tolerance, meaning that a larger quantity of the synthetic drug is required over time in order for the desired effects to be produced
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when synthetic drug use is stopped suddenly

Synthetic Drug Withdrawal
Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms associated with synthetic drug withdrawal depend largely on the severity of the substance abuse disorder and on whether or not there were any underlying conditions to begin with.

The symptoms of synthetic drug withdrawal commonly include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • General feelings of physical discomfort
  • Persistent headaches
  • Uncontrollable shaking and body tremors
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Changes to appetite and eating patterns

Is Synthetic Drug Detox Necessary?

When it comes to synthetic drugs, medically monitored detox is definitely advised. Because these drugs are still so new to the market and because their composition is constantly changing, symptoms of withdrawal can be severe and unpredictable. At Guardian Recovery Network we offer 24/7 access to professional medical care so that symptoms of withdrawal can be effectively treated the moment they develop. One thing we do know about synthetic drug withdrawal is that it leads to intense psychological cravings — cravings that almost always lead to relapse unless they are addressed, and unless the client is being closely supervised.

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Because synthetic drugs are relatively new to the market, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically designated for the treatment of synthetic drug withdrawal. At Guardian Recovery Network we combine medication assisted treatment with intensive behavioral therapy, psychiatric services and evidence-based, holistic modalities. Because the psychological symptoms of synthetic drug withdrawal are generally far more severe than the physical symptoms, every client who has a history of synthetic drug abuse undergoes an in-depth psychiatric evaluation upon his or her admission. If deemed necessary, he or she is prescribed an antipsychotic medication to help alleviate the more severe symptoms. An individual may also be given an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication based on need. We offer our clients the opportunity to participate in individual and group therapy, and we offer a range of holistic services that clients are encouraged to take advantage of if they are feeling up to it.

Begin Your Journey of Addiction Recovery

At Guardian Recovery Network we stay up-to-date on all of the newly emerging drug trends, and our team of highly experienced substance abuse and mental health professionals understand what it takes to prepare clients for the road ahead. While medical detox is a necessary first step on the road to recovery, it is only the very first step. In order for sobriety to be maintained, detox must be immediately followed up with an appropriate level of clinical care (in most cases this will be inpatient drug and alcohol rehab). At Guardian Recovery Network we focus on much more than physical stabilization. We lay a solid foundation for lasting sobriety while equipping our clients with the tools they need to become the very best versions of themselves.

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    Our Straightforward Admissions Process

    The moment you or your loved one makes the decision to give us a call we set to work developing a viable and stress-free plan of action. We understand how overwhelming committing to a long-term program of recovery might seem, and we are available to help every single step of the way. As soon as we receive your call we begin by conducting a pre-assessment, which can take place over the phone in a short matter of minutes. We ask a series of simple questions that help prepare us for your stay in our inpatient detox center, things like, “Did you ever combine synthetic drugs with other chemical substances like opioids or alcohol?” “Have you ever been prescribed a medication for an underlying mental health condition?” “How long have you been abusing synthetic drugs, and what amount do you typically ingest over the course of one full day?” Next we explore coverage options and set a date and a time for intake. To learn more about our admissions process, to begin your own personal journey of recovery, or help your loved one get started on his or hers, contact us today.