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Research chemicals are a group of new psychoactive substances. They are synthetic versions of an established psychoactive substance that mimic its effects, respectively. Research chemicals are entirely man-made substances. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not classify research chemicals as controlled substances, which means they are completely unregulated. In order to evade law enforcement, these designer drugs are sold under the guise of “research chemicals” but are often used recreationally by consumers. Although the opposite is true, research chemical labels will also frequently include phrases such as “not for human consumption” and/or “only for research purposes.” 

This particular type of labeling allows the substances to circumvent being classified as a controlled or illegal substance. Due to the fact that these substances are completely unregulated, the manufacturers of research chemicals have sole discretion over the precise ingredients included and exact formulas used to produce the drugs. Additionally, because of the lack of an overseeing entity to ensure consistency, not only can the ingredients and formulas can change from manufacturer to manufacturer but also each batch of research chemical produced can be drastically different. Moreover, each manufacturer has no legal obligation to accurately disclose the contents of his or her product to consumers. This can make research chemicals an incredibly dangerous substance, as the consumers have no true idea what he or she is ingesting. 

What Are Research Chemicals?

Research chemicals can be the synthetic version of prescription medications or marketed as pure active ingredients found in other synthetic substances. However, they are often made up of unknown ingredients, and may not even contain the ingredients listed on the label. Furthermore, the labeling of research chemicals can be misleading, specifically with regard to the quantity of certain ingredients present. Research chemicals can contain a combination of drugs. Some examples of substances that have been found in research chemicals include the following:

  • Phenethylamines
  • Synthetic opioids
  • Mephedrone
  • Tryptamines
  • Aminoindanes
  • Piperazine derivatives
  • Cathinones 

It is highly common for manufacturers of research chemicals to slightly modify the chemical makeup of a substance to create a new derivative. They continuously adjust their formulas as to avoid any legal complications, and stay ahead of legal systems. Research chemicals are often sold as a white powder, crystals, packaged on blotter tabs, and/or capsules. They can be administered in a variety of different methods, such as snorting, injecting, ingesting, and/or smoking.

Are They Addictive?

In short, yes: abusing research chemicals can turn into an addiction. Every individual is different and will respond to and process the introduction and/ or abuse of foreign substances distinctly. Due to the fact that there are many different types of research chemical substances, the intrinsic addictive qualities of each substance may vary. However, as is true for any substance that is habitually abused over a period of time, an individual that abuses research chemicals does increase his or her risk for developing an addiction. When an individual abuses research chemicals over a period of time his or her body becomes accustomed to functioning with the substance present. Increasing the dose, frequency of abuse, and/ or mixing research chemicals with other substances so as to achieve the desired feelings of intoxication can lead to developing a dependency. When an individual experiences withdrawal symptoms in its absence, he or she has likely developed a dependency to the research chemical, which can quickly lead to addiction. There are many different types of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment options available for any individual struggling with an addiction to research chemicals. 

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/or general substance abuse and/or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.