What Parents Need to Know About Synthetic and Designer Drugs

Happy parents with 3 smiling children by the beach

As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about whether your child is making safe decisions as they grow older, particularly when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, the concerns related to adolescent drug use are only growing, as designer and synthetic drugs become more popular and more readily available to kids and teens. These drugs, such as spice, bath salts, and others, are designed to evade drug regulations so they can be sold in stores, and they do so by continuously making slight alterations to their chemical composition. That means it can be harder to identify these drugs and their side effects and test for them with urinalysis and other types of drug tests. Here’s a closer look at some important facts to know about these drugs:

Designer drugs are always changing.

Because the formulas for various designer drugs are always changing, the nicknames for them may change as well. If you hear your child referring to spice, salts, Molly, or croc, these may be terms for designer drugs.  

Drug tests can still screen for synthetic drugs.

Though synthetic drugs do change in formula often, there are still drug tests that keep up with changing trends and test for the appropriate compounds. Of course, test availability may be limited, so you should work with a trusted drug and alcohol testing service instead of relying on store-bought testing kits.

Teens often view these drugs as less harmful.

When you do approach your teen about possible synthetic drug use, he or she may have a casual attitude regarding their drug use, because synthetic and designer drugs have a reputation for being less harmful. However, due to the inconsistent nature of these drugs, they can actually be more harmful in some ways, because they may have many unknown side effects.


For more information about family drug testing services in Tucson, connect with Oschmann Employee Screening Services. Oschmann Employee Screening Services is a national provider of drug and alcohol testing and employee background check services with offices in Tucson, AZ and Phoenix, AZ, and we provide family testing services that you can count on. You can reach us online or at (800) 224-8532.

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