Designer Drugs Abuse & Addiction Treatment In Los Angeles, California

Designer Drugs Abuse & Addiction

Launch Centers proudly offer addiction treatment to individuals struggling with designer drug use and addiction. Our comprehensive addiction treatment plans in Los Angeles focus on healing the mind, body, and soul of individuals, combining evidence-based therapy methods like cognitive behavioral therapy and DBT with holistic healing modalities such as art, yoga, and music therapy.

What Are Designer Drugs?

Designer drugs are lab-made synthetic substances designed to mimic the physical and pharmacological effects of other less accessible substances, hoping to avoid DEA and FDA requirements and drug test detection. They were also created to cut costs on manufacturing mainstream substances, resulting in unknown and potentially dangerous additives and chemical reactions. Some of these substances mimic psychoactive substances and hallucinogens like LSD and psilocybin, while others were designed to replicate the effects of cannabis and THC.

Some of the most common designer drugs recognized by the Drug Enforcement Agency include:

  • Cannabinoids such as Delta-8, -10, -11, HHC, THCO, etc. designed to mimic the effects of THC. (Designer drugs can also include edibles, as they are made with extracted THC components in a lab or facility).
  • Phenethylamines such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA) designed to replicate stimulants.
  • Fentanyl and xylazine are designed to mimic heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other opioids.
  • Cathinones (K2, Bath salts, Krokodil) designed to mimic the psychoactive effects of THC.
  • Phencyclidine or arylcyclohexamines (PCP, ketamine, phencyclidine, and eticyclidine).
  • Tryptamines (DMT) are designed to mimic LSD or psilocybin.
  • Piperazines (Buclizine, Cetirizine, Cinnarizine, etc.) are designed to mimic MDMA.
  • Pipradrols designed to mimic stimulants.

Soon, individuals can start neglecting important things like work, family life, friendships, college, and basic everyday tasks like eating, sleeping, and exercising. Their mood and overall mental health can start to negatively change, resulting in mood swings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, along with physical symptoms, including face sores, rotted teeth, and scabs.

Designer Drug Use In California & The US

Designer drugs have spread across the country and the state of California, with more dangerous additives being found in confiscated substances. In 2023, the DEA reported seizing over 16 million fentanyl pills and nearly 3,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. They also reported that 23% of the illicit fentanyl they seized was laced with xylazine, another designer drug. Xylazine, like ketamine, is a powerful tranquilizer known to cause fatal overdoses, central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, hypotension, and bradycardia. It’s also been known to cause necrotic skin ulcerations when repeatedly injected.

The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education also reported that bromazolam, a designer drug mimicking Xanax, led the list of synthetic substances replacing benzodiazepines, and pentylone and N,N-dimethylpentylon, led the list of synthetic stimulants. Opioids were also targeted by synthetic designer drug labs, using the synthetic cannabinoid MDMB-4en-PINACA, as well as three new opioids, isotonitazene metonitazine, and N-desethyl isotonitazene.

Designer drugs have also gained popularity due to the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing cannabinoids containing less than 0.3% THC. This resulted in an influx of legal THC products, including Delta-8 edibles, flowers, joints, oils, tinctures, and more, sold at local gas stations and vape shops in states without legal marijuana. These unregulated and untested products are becoming hard to control, with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction reporting the rise of 209 different synthetic cannabinoids between 2008 and 2021.

In 2021, approximately 65% of drug-related deaths in California were attributed to methamphetamine, cocaine, or other stimulants, marking a substantial increase from 22% in 2011, as reported by the California Department of Health Care Services. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recorded a staggering 180% surge in overdose deaths involving methamphetamine and other stimulants nationally, reaching 15,489 fatalities in 2019, compared to figures in 2015.

The California homelessness crisis has further exacerbated the problem, with stimulant use wreaking havoc on the unhoused community. A study by the UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative revealed that among unhoused individuals who use drugs, amphetamines, and methamphetamines were the most commonly chosen stimulant. Some individuals living on the streets even reported resorting to stimulants to remain alert during the night, fearing potential attacks if they were to fall asleep.

Designer Drug Addiction Treatment With Launch Centers

Launch Centers crafts each addiction treatment plan to the individual, considering every need, including the length and level of addiction, existing or developed mental health disorders, and personal responsibilities and schedules.

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Partial Hospitalization Program

Our PHP program is designed for those struggling with designer drug use, providing comprehensive addiction treatment while allowing individuals to maintain personal responsibilities. Clients typically spend 30 to 60 hours per week in treatment, participating in group therapy, one-on-one counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic healing activities like art, yoga, and music therapy.

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Intensive Outpatient Program

The IOP program is suitable for individuals who want to reduce their reliance on designer drugs and reintegrate into daily life and responsibilities. Clients typically attend 10 to 20 hours per week, choosing from day or evening programs that last 3 to 4 hours each to accommodate family, work, or school commitments.

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Outpatient Program

Our designer drugs outpatient program is ideal for those transitioning back into daily life while still attending regular one-on-one or group therapy sessions. This option is also beneficial for individuals in mental health housing or sober living facilities who wish to continue their treatment and monitor their recovery progress.

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Life Skills & Career Development

Our program focuses on helping individuals regain important life skills and career development opportunities. Topics covered include job applications, resume creation, college or vocational school applications, and preparation for adulthood. Other essential skills such as meal planning, housing assistance, self-care, budgeting, investment, and stress management are also taught.

Signs of Designer Drug Use

Designer drugs are usually made in illegal laboratories by unqualified chemists and distributors. Without quality control standards or scientific oversight, these drugs are usually radically different from one batch to another. This means designer drug use can exhibit the effects of one or multiple substances simultaneously or after one another.

General signs of across most substances include:

  • Problems at school, like disinterest, declining grades, and difficulties with school-related activities.
  • Poor work performance, chronic lateness, lack of interest in duties, and negative performance reviews.
  • Changes in physical appearance, such as neglecting grooming or self-care.
  • Altered behavior, showing an increased desire for privacy.
  • Drastic changes in relationships.
  • Lack of energy for daily activities.
  • Increased spending or borrowing money for drugs.
  • Financial management issues, such as late bill payments.
  • Changes in appetite lead to decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Physical signs like bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, and appearing tired.
  • Defensiveness when asked about substance use.
Signs of Designer Drug Use
Signs of Designer Drug Use

Behavioral and psychological effects of designer drugs include:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks and anxiety
  • Extreme agitation
  • Violent behavior
  • Depression
  • Tremors

Dangers & Long-Term Effects of Designer Drugs

Designer drugs can have unknown and fatal effects due to their inconsistent chemical makeup and contaminants. These substances are usually modified and changed from one batch to another to spread products, reduce costs, or increase addictive qualities to keep customers coming back. The most notable dangers and long-term effects of designer drugs include:

  • Chronically reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Memory loss, dissociation, and consistent feelings of detachment.
  • Increased anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
  • Slurred speech, tremors, seizures, and loss of consciousness
  • Insomnia, trouble sleeping, or inconsistent sleeping patterns
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Psychosis, coma, and death

Contact Launch Centers for Designer Drug Addiction Treatment

Launch Centers provides designer drug abuse and addiction services to young adults who need help overcoming these dangerous substances. Our therapeutic modalities focus on healing the entire person, addressing any underlying mental health disorders or traumatic experiences contributing to substance abuse. Since no recovery journey is the same, each treatment program is tailored to your specific needs and schedule. Contact our treatment center if you have any questions, and one of our admissions agents can help you get started or break down how our programs work and the insurance we accept.

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Your new life begins today

Change your entire life for the better at Launch Centers Treatment Program in Los Angeles, CA.

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • Conner H.

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me.

  • Nicole Y.

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Jenna S.

    Launch changed our lives. Our family had been battling for years to breakthrough to our brother. No amount of rehab or detox had made a difference. He was listless, lifeless and helpless. We feared for his life everyday. The spirit of, repetition in, core values, appreciation of life and dignity and respect that we found through Launch are unparalleled. I can say with full confidence that we never would have seen my “real” brother again if not for this truly magical combination. We were and still are especially grateful for his over-the-top therapist. Her commitment to his privacy and success coupled with her unwavering contact with any and all of us is what bridged our 3,000 mile separation from him.


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