The war on drugs is complicated by the fact that there is a seemingly never-ending stream of substances to battle. Just as law enforcement and healthcare officials seem to be making progress in controlling one drug, two new ones pop up in its place.

Thanks to curiosity and a need to fit in, teenagers in NJ and other states are particularly vulnerable to the lure of new substances. Here is a look at some of the street drugs with upwardly trending usage that should concern you.

Fentanyl

This dangerous opioid is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin. Its increasing use has led to a spike in fentanyl-related fatalities due to its effect of quickly shutting down the respiratory system. Many are a result of people unknowingly ingesting the drug when it’s been used to lace heroin.

Synthetic cannabinoids (Spice, K2, etc.)

These synthetic drugs are related to THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana but cause more dangerous side effects including vomiting, seizures, and violent behavior.

Flakka

Flakka is another synthetic drug often referred to as “bath salts” because of its crystallized form. Its use can lead to a state known as “excited delirium” that may lead to aggressive behavior and self-injury.

Opana

Opana is a prescription painkiller that is injected by users, compounding its danger with the possibility of contracting the HIV virus, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases.

Caffeine powder

Teens hoping to lose weight or just get a pick-me-up may turn to this substance, but one teaspoon is the equivalent of 25 cups of coffee, which can be a fatal dosage.

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