Health Info

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General Health

Drug Use

Students should be aware of the dangers of synthetic drug use.

Synthetic drugs are essentially drugs made of chemicals that are designed to mimic controlled substances. They are often sold as “safer” or “legal” drugs, which is false. Synthetic drugs are both dangerous and illegal.

Synthetic drugs and their composition tend to evolve. Often drug makers will alter their ingredients in synthetic drugs in order to stay ahead of the law or to create new demand. As a result, these drugs can be called one thing but have the effects of another. Users cannot be certain of what they are taking.

Synthetic LSD

“Party drugs” like synthetic LSD can affect the central nervous system and cause stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic properties.

Dealers selling synthetic LSD spray the chemical compound on blotter papers. Whereas one drop of LSD would be on each paper, the spraying of synthetic LSD results in uneven doses. Users cannot be certain of how much they are actually ingesting. Synthetic LSD can also be sold as liquid in small tubes or even in squares of gelatin.

If students encounter LSD, they should report it to the police.


Molly, short for molecule, indicates this drug’s origin in labs. Molly is another street name for MDMA in powder or crystal form. MDMA is used in ecstasy, which is usually in a pill form. Common street names for it are E, X, or XTC. Molly is often sold as being a non-addictive “party drug,” but the effects of Molly leave users in unpredictable, uncontrollable states that can be dangerous.

Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana is often sold as “organic herbs” or “legal buds,” insinuating that this drug is a legal and safer alternative. Previously, it has been sold in convenience stores as Spice or K2 under the auspices of incense. In 2012, the federal government outlawed synthetic marijuana, removing it from these stores.

Synthetic marijuana is manufactured by mixing leaves/herbs and chemicals to mimic the effects of the marijuana plant. Popular belief is that synthetic marijuana is safer, less toxic, or elicits less mind-altering effects than real marijuana; however, synthetic marijuana is perhaps even more dangerous, resulting in severe episodes of acute psychotic effects like extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.

Because it is synthetic, the actual chemicals used to create the substance are unknown and potentially more potent than its natural form, resulting in more serious side effects. Again, users cannot be sure of the nature of the chemicals or the dosage that’s been used to make synthetic marijuana.

If you suspect someone has taken a synthetic drug or you yourself have and need help, call 911 right away.

Student Health Center | 814.865.6556 | Contact University Health Services