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Symptoms of Legal High Addiction

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Key Takeaway:

  • Legal highs, also known as novel psychoactive substances, are substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs, but are not yet classified as illegal themselves. These substances can be highly addictive.

  • Legal high addiction can lead to various psychological symptoms, such as changes in mood and behavior, increased anxiety and depression, and difficulty in controlling cravings.

  • Behavioral and social symptoms of legal high addiction may include changes in social circle, neglecting responsibilities, and engaging in risky behaviors to obtain the substances.

  • Physical symptoms of legal high addiction can manifest as withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using the substances, such as nausea, tremors, sweating, and insomnia.

  • Long-term effects of legal high addiction can include damage to physical and mental health, impaired cognitive function, and increased risk of overdose and death.

  • Legal high addiction may have unique factors, such as easy accessibility of substances, lack of regulation, and the perception of them being legal and safer than illegal drugs.

  • Treatment options for legal high addiction may include therapy, support groups, detoxification programs, and medication-assisted treatment.


Legal highs have become a concerning issue in society, and it's crucial to understand the addictive nature of these substances. In this section, we'll delve into the definition of legal highs and explore why they can be so addictive. Brace yourself for some eye-opening insights and uncover the hidden truths about these substances that have captured the attention of many. Prepare to see legal highs in a whole new light as we reveal the undeniable facts behind their addictive tendencies.

Definition of legal highs

Legal highs are substances designed to imitate the effects of illegal drugs. But, they are produced using legal substances. They often have psychoactive properties, which can alter a person's perception and create many effects. Legal highs come in the form of powders, pills, liquids or capsules and may be sold as 'research chemicals' or 'plant food'.

People use legal highs because they are easy to get and they think they are a safer option than illegal drugs. But, they can be very addictive. If someone is addicted, they may have cravings and find it hard to control their use.

The effects of legal highs vary, but can include happiness, more energy, relaxation, hallucinations and changes to how they perceive time. People use legal highs to get 'high' or escape from reality.

Addiction to legal highs can cause mental issues such as cravings and irritability when they try to stop. They may also give up responsibilities and isolate themselves. Money problems can also occur if someone spends a lot buying legal highs.

Using legal highs for a long time can lead to physical health problems like breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, seizures and even death.

Manufacturers often change the chemical makeup of legal highs to avoid laws that ban them. So, the effects and risks of using legal highs are often unpredictable, which makes them more dangerous.

Explanation of their addictive nature

Legal highs, also known as novel psychoactive substances (NPS), are drugs designed to mimic the effects of illicit substances like cannabis or ecstasy. They have become popular due to their availability and perceived legal status. However, they are not safe alternatives to illegal drugs.

These substances can interact with the brain's reward system, causing pleasure and euphoria. Cravings for the substance, difficulty controlling use, and an increased tolerance are all signs of addiction.

Psychological symptoms can include anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Behaviorally and socially, addiction can lead to neglecting responsibilities, strained relationships, and a decline in social functioning.

Physical symptoms of addiction include appetite and weight changes, disturbed sleep, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and potential organ damage.

Legally high addiction also has unique factors. Health professionals often lack knowledge about the substances, making it difficult to understand their effects and risks.

Understanding Legal High Addiction

Legal high addiction is a complex issue that warrants deeper exploration. In this section, we will delve into the various aspects of understanding legal high addiction.

From the psychoactive effects of legal highs to the psychological, behavioral, and social symptoms of addiction, we will uncover the intricate web that addiction weaves. Brace yourself for an eye-opening journey into the realities of legal high addiction, as we uncover the hidden truths that lie beneath the surface.

Psychoactive effects of legal highs

Psychoactive effects are the key consequences legal highs produce in the brain. These can be altered perception, mood and behavior. They create intense feelings of euphoria or sedation, depending on their chemical composition. Plus, they can enhance sensory perception and distort reality - leading to hallucinations or illusions.

Legal highs can:

  • Induce feelings of relaxation and tranquility, offering a temporary escape from stress and anxiety.

  • Increase sociability and confidence, making people more talkative and outgoing.

  • Heighten sensory experiences, intensifying colors, sounds, and tastes.

  • Alter thinking patterns and perceptions of time and space.

  • Induce hallucinations or delusions.

Each individual may react differently due to metabolism, tolerance levels, and psychological factors. Prolonged use can lead to tolerance and dependence, necessitating more for the same effect.

It's important to understand these details about legal high addiction to form effective treatments. Healthcare professionals must look at psychoactive effects on a case-by-case basis to address physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Psychological symptoms of addiction

Legal high addiction has a major effect on a person's mental health. It can cause psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions. These psychological symptoms get worse with increased use, often leading to social issues and detachment from friends and family.

Unlike other substances, legal highs can cause psychological effects quickly, even after just a short time.

Jake is an example of the negative impacts of this addiction. He used to be a talented musician, but started taking legal highs at parties. He felt euphoric at first, but soon he became dependent on them. His happy personality changed to mood swings and anger. Jake lost interest in his music and distanced himself from his friends and family. He ended up feeling lonely and hopeless.

Legal high addiction should not be taken lightly. Recognizing signs of addiction early is important to help those affected get the treatment and support they need.

Legal highs may make you popular at first, but they'll also make you feel cut off from others.

Behavioral and social symptoms of addiction

The psychoactive effects of legal highs can lead to addiction. These substances change the brain's chemistry, affecting mood, thinking, and perception. People may become obsessed with them and impulsively seek out more. They may become isolated and act erratically. Psychological issues, such as aggression, depression, and difficulty managing emotions, can hurt relationships.

People addicted to legal highs may do secret, risky things to get them. They may lie, and prioritize getting high over other responsibilities. Physical signs can include weight changes, injuries, sleep issues, and poor health. Long-term use can be deadly.

Treatment is available. Counseling, therapy, and support groups can help individuals address the root causes of addiction. Family support is essential. Developing sober friends and engaging in positive activities can aid recovery and lead to a fulfilling life.

Physical symptoms of addiction

Legal high addiction can cause many physical symptoms that show their damaging effects. One of the main ways legal highs harm health and wellbeing is through their impact on physical appearance. Weight loss, pale skin, and dark circles under the eyes are just some of these signs. This usually happens due to malnutrition and a lack of self-care caused by the addictive nature of legal highs.

Respiratory issues are also common amongst those addicted to legal highs. Inhaling or consuming these substances can harm the lungs, leading to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and in extreme cases, chronic bronchitis or pneumonia.

Moreover, legal high addiction can result in an increased heart rate and blood pressure. This is because these substances stimulate the cardiovascular system. Prolonged use can strain the heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks or strokes.

Sleep disturbances and insomnia are also connected to legal high addiction. Poor sleep quality affects overall health and cognitive function.

It's important to note that physical symptoms may differ from person to person depending on factors like dosage and frequency of use. Therefore, seeking professional help for a comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment plan is essential for those who think they may have legal high addiction.

Understanding these physical symptoms related to legal high addiction is crucial for recognizing potential health risks associated with their use. Early identification allows individuals to receive the right support and take control of their wellbeing before long-term complications arise.

Long-term Effects of Legal High Addiction

Legal high addiction can have grave, long-term repercussions. One of these is harm to physical health. Long-term use can cause damage to vital organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain. This damage may be incurable, leading to chronic illnesses, or even death.

Psychological distress is yet another long-term outcome. People hooked on legal highs may go through mood swings, nervousness, and depression. Even after stopping their use of legal highs, these mental health issues may persist, making it tough for them to lead a normal life.

Legal highs can also take a toll on personal ties. Addiction to these substances can make people prioritize getting and using legal highs over their relationships with family and friends. This can result in social isolation and strained associations, which can be extremely distressing and damaging in the long run.

Moreover, legal high addiction can impair an individual's capacity to work or study. The mental impairment caused by these substances can lead to reduced efficiency, memory issues, and difficulty focusing. This can have serious long-term consequences on one's career or educational prospects.

To sum up, legal high addiction can have harsh and long-lasting effects on individuals. It can cause physical health deterioration, psychological distress, strain on personal relationships, and hindered professional or educational development. Therefore, it is essential for people to seek help and support to overcome legal high addiction and reduce the long-term consequences it may bring.

Unique Factors of Legal High Addiction

Legal high addiction is complex. It has unique factors that make it different from other forms of substance abuse. To treat it, we must understand these factors.

Availability and accessibility are key. Legal highs are often in the form of herbal products or chemicals, and they are legal so people can access them for a psychoactive experience.

There is no legal control of legal highs. There are no regulations or quality controls, which means a range of substances with unknown side effects are available.

Legal highs are constantly evolving. They are designed to bypass laws, and regulators and healthcare professionals struggle to keep up.

Many people don't know the risks of legal highs. Limited public awareness and education mean people aren't aware of the dangers.

Social acceptance and normalization of legal highs lead to more use. People mistakenly think they are safer than illegal drugs.

Misconceptions about safety exist. People mistakenly think legal highs are safe because they are legal, but they can still have harmful effects.

Legal high addiction has unique details that depend on individual factors such as mental health and coping. This calls for a tailored approach to prevention, intervention, and treatment.

Synthetic cannabinoids, such as "spice" or "K2," are an example. They were developed as a legal cannabis alternative but caused harm. Laws were made to control them.

Treatment Options for Legal High Addiction

Legal high addiction is a serious issue that needs professional help and the right treatment. People with this addiction need access to the right treatment options that can meet their specific needs and help them recover. Here are 6 treatment options for legal high addiction:

  • 1. Medical Detoxification: This includes a supervised withdrawal from legal highs, with medical experts' help. It removes toxins from the body and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

  • 2. Therapy and Counseling: One-on-one and group therapy sessions can help people understand the causes of their addiction, create healthier coping methods, and learn how to prevent relapse.

  • 3. Inpatient Rehabilitation: Residential treatment programs offer a structured environment where people can get round-the-clock care. They focus on the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction.

  • 4. Outpatient Programs: These programs allow people to receive treatment while still working or studying. They include therapy, counseling, and support groups.

  • 5. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Certain medicines can help manage cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. They are used with therapy and counseling to help with recovery.

  • 6. Aftercare and Support: Continuing care is essential for long-term success in overcoming legal high addiction. Aftercare services like sober living homes, support groups, and therapy help people stay sober and avoid relapse.

Every individual's treatment plan can vary depending on their needs. So, it is important to consult healthcare professionals to determine the best treatment options for legal high addiction.

To sum up, legal high addiction can be harmful, but recovery is possible with the right treatment options. Combining medical detoxification, therapy, inpatient or outpatient programs, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare support can help people overcome their addiction and lead a drug-free life. Seeking professional help is the first step towards a healthier life.


Legal high addiction has dangerous consequences. Physical, psychological, social, and financial issues can arise. Seeking professional help and joining support groups are key for recovery. Education and awareness programs are vital for prevention. Taking swift action regarding legal high addiction is paramount to prevent further harm. Getting professional help and joining support groups can be advantageous. Education and awareness initiatives are critical to stop addiction and ensure informed choices.


Some Facts About Symptoms of Legal High Addiction:

  • ✅ Legal highs are synthetic substances that mimic the effects of illegal drugs. (Source: Team Research)

  • ✅ Psychological symptoms of legal high addiction include anxiety, depression, euphoria, mood swings, and hallucinations. (Source: Priory Group)

  • ✅ Behavioral and social symptoms of legal high addiction can include prioritizing drug use over hobbies, secrecy, and neglecting responsibilities. (Source: UKAT)

  • ✅ Physical symptoms of legal high addiction may include intense cravings, withdrawal symptoms, increased heart rate, and disrupted sleep patterns. (Source: Which Rehab)

  • ✅ Long-term effects of legal high addiction can include psychosis, heart problems, relationship breakdowns, and legal issues. (Source: Primrose Lodge)

FAQs about Symptoms Of Legal High Addiction

What are the signs and symptoms of legal high addiction?

Signs and symptoms of legal high addiction can include anxiety, depression, euphoria, mood swings, hostility, irritability, confusion, paranoia, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, distorted sense of reality, poor judgment, memory problems, inability to focus, using drugs to cope with stress, exacerbation of mental health conditions, and noticeable changes in personality.

How do legal highs affect mental and emotional well-being?

Legal highs can severely impact mental and emotional well-being, causing symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, irritability, distorted sense of reality, mood swings, and hallucinations.

What are the physical symptoms of legal high addiction?

Physical symptoms of legal high addiction may include intense cravings, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, nausea, vomiting, sweating, increased heart rate, slurred speech, disrupted sleep patterns, and changes in appetite.

What are the long-term effects of legal high addiction?

Long-term effects of legal high addiction can include psychosis, heart problems, seizures, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, relationship breakdowns, job loss, financial difficulties, and legal problems.

How can legal high addiction be treated?

Treatment for legal high addiction may involve a supervised detox to cleanse the body and therapy to address the underlying emotional and psychological factors. Residential rehabs, outpatient treatment, and support groups are available options for addiction treatment.

Are legal highs legal to sell?

Although legal highs may be technically considered legal to sell under misleading pretexts, they are banned in the UK under the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016. However, enforcing this ban can be challenging due to the difficulty of proving whether a substance is psychoactive.

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