Designer Drug Trends

            A Review for Law Enforcement, First Responders and Health Care Personnel

Designer drugs are usually produced by creating analogs to existing drugs in order to avoid the existing regulations and controls.

Historically, one or two drugs per year had become popular in the U.S., law enforcement and laboratory testing was able to keep up.

Today, with the advent of the internet, the processing and marketing of designer drugs has become very sophisticated.  

Modern processes of chemical synthesis allow for numerous analogs to be produced.

Unlike the prescription drugs previously outlined, these drugs rarely have a legitimate medical indication and are for the most part Schedule I Controlled Substances.   Or, if the drug is a recently created analog, it may not be scheduled yet, but may be considered a controlled substance analog under the federal Controlled Substance Act.


Abused for the hallucinogenic effects; some products produce what is perceived as a rush of energy.


Most abused designer drugs have primarily stimulant and/or hallucinogenic effects; though numerous other side effects are present, numerous other effects are presented:

  • Nervousness
  • Irrational or violent behavior
  • Memory loss
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Visual disturbances
  • Intestinal distress


  • Internet
  • Friends/acquaintances
  • Raves
  • Concerts
  • Street sales
  • Sold as various retail establishments

Current Trending Products

Due to the ever-expanding market, this is a partial listing on more common products: