The term designer drug refers to a synthetic or human-made psychoactive compound intentionally created to mimic a natural or synthetic controlled substance for the purpose of evading drug laws. A designer drug has the chemical structure and/or pharmacologic mechanism of action similar to the drug it seeks to mimic and is generally created by making a small change to the structure of an existing substance. The goal is to create a drug that is similar enough to have the desired psychoactive effects but different enough that it is technically a new drug and thus legal. Designer drugs comprise an increasingly popular category of abused drugs and are used worldwide. There is tremendous morbidity and mortality associated with their use. Despite massive legal and public health ...

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