The New Drug Trends in 2013

drugThroughout this past year, we have seen many new drugs emerge—and many negative consequences for those who have experimented with them.1 Humans are nothing, if not inventive, and a number of new synthetic drugs were proof.1

Here is a look at some of the most potent street drugs that took off in 2013.


With a wretched reputation, Krokodil is desomorphine—a cheap derivative of codeine—mixed with gasoline, oil, alcohol, or paint thinner.[1] It is a toxic, homemade opioid that has been used as a cheap heroin substitute in poor rural areas of Russia, recently making its way to the United States.[2] Users shoot the concoction into their veins with a hypodermic needle.1 It causes dark, scaly patches of dead and gray-green decaying skin, giving its name “Krokodil.”1 Medical personnel have seen users left severely disfigured for life, with serious scarring, bone damage, amputated limbs, speech impediments, poor motor skills, and brain damage.1

A murky yellow liquid, when injected, the surrounding blood vessels burst and tissue dies, sometimes falling off the bone in chunks.2 The typical life span of an addict is just two to three years.2


This little-known synthetic hallucinogen has only a brief history, but it is a very potent and dangerous drug.1 It causes intense psychedelic effects; however, they do not begin until a few hours after the user takes it.1 Snorted or smoked, once it kicks in, it can last for 10 to 20 hours.1 This drug most famously hospitalized four teenagers after they collapsed at a concert in Middlebury, Conn.1 One male stopped breathing and had no pulse.1

As its onset is delayed by approximately three hours, users often take more as they do not think it is having an effect.[3] However, the difference between the good and bad is a mere two milligrams.3 Twelve milligrams or more, a fraction of the size of a penny, can be extremely dangerous.3 Blood pressure increases, seizures occur, and the heart races increasing the risk of a heart attack.3

Butane Hash Oil

A highly concentrated form of the active ingredient in marijuana—THC—use of butane hash oil is known as dabbing, due to the way it is ingested.1 Users place a small dab of the substance on a hot, metal surface and inhale the puff of smoke that results.1 However, the euphoric effect is nothing like that of marijuana—people often lose consciousness after inhaling it.1

It is produced by filling a cylindrical glass with marijuana and flooding the canister with butane to strip the plant matter of its cannabinoid-containing oils.[4] The result is a mixture of plant oil and chemicals which is then purified to remove traces of the solvent.4 However, the problem of proper butane ventilation has caused walls to blow out and windows to smash.4 Making the oil is as dangerous as using it.4


The active ingredient in the popular club drug ecstasy is MDMA, and Molly is considered the most refined, crystalline form of MDMA.1 However, it’s not true—it is cut with a variety of toxic ingredients.1 Many believe it is a safer form of ecstasy, but they are wrong.1 Some capsules contain methamphetamine, methylone (found in bath salts), cocaine, and heroin.1 No one can be sure what the capsules contain.1 It causes users’ body temperature to rise and they become confused, depressed, and have trouble sleeping.1 It’s overdose killed four people this year.1

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