Looking Back at 2015: 3 Drugs That Emerged with Deadly Force

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Looking Back at 2015: 3 Drugs That Emerged with Deadly Force

They say that there is nothing new under the sun. And while there is certainly nothing new about the ravages of drug addiction, there are new drugs emerging all the time—some of them reaching epidemic levels and wreaking havoc in the lives of many.

The year 2015 saw several of these dangerous drugs rising in prevalence and causing no small amount of damage. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes three, in particular:

Fentanyl. 2015 saw a surge in overdose deaths from an opioid called Fentanyl—a substance like heroin but up to 50 times more powerful. Indeed, many people are turned on to this drug by buying heroin and finding it laced with much harder, more addictive substances. This drug has only been on the radar for a couple of years but has already caused hundreds of deaths.

Synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are genetically linked to THC, the active ingredient that gives marijuana its kick. These artificial products—often sold with brand names such as Spice or K2—are considerably more powerful and much more dangerous than actual marijuana, and 2015 saw a sharp uptick in related hospitalizations and overdose deaths.

Flakka. A final drug that has risen in prominence is called Flakka, popularly known as a “bath salt” drug that resembles a crystal but can be crushed down, smoked, eaten, vaporized, or even injected. The drug induces extreme delirium, and can trigger both heart attack and suicide fatalities.

These drugs just represent the tip of the iceberg, of course; there are many substances out there that are not just addictive, but potentially life-ending. If you know anyone who has partaken of any of these drugs, please urge them to seek out addiction treatment as soon as possible!

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Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.