A Comprehensive List of Natural & Synthetic Drugs

Today, many of the illicit drugs that individuals use to achieve a “high” sensation are synthetic to increase pleasure and intensity. However, many of these synthetic substances come from natural drugs that can still be found on the earth today. So how do you know if a drug is considered natural/organic or synthetic?


What Makes A Drug “Natural?”

As the name suggests, these types of drugs can be found in nature. Most of the time, these substances come from plants and are known to cause unique effects in the brain and body.


Names of Natural Drugs

Below are some drugs that are considered natural. While some of them evolve into synthetic form because of added substances, some of the drugs below also remain natural or organic for consumption.

  1. Opium. Opium poppy plants create drugs that are known as opiates. Raw opium looks like a milky fluid that bleeds out of dried poppies that are still in bud form.
  2. Blue Agave. Believe it or not, some tequila is natural. The sugar in some types of tequila comes from a blue agave plant that grows in Mexico.
  3. Mushrooms. “Magic” mushrooms get their hallucinogenic properties from Psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound that causes euphoria and psychedelic trips.
  4. Marijuana. This common drug comes from the natural cannabis plant. It is typically not mixed with any toxic substances before being consumed. However, it marijuana can be laced with synthetic and dangerous chemicals.


The Basics of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic drugs may come from natural substances, but have undergone a scientific process to become an illicit drug. These drugs cannot be considered natural because they contain some sort of synthetic or man-made substance.


List of Synthetic Substances

  1. Cocaine. This drug is difficult to define, since coca leaves are naturally grown in South America. However, the plant goes through a grueling process to become cocaine. Some of the dangerous steps to turn this into an illicit drug include soaking in gasoline, bathing in battery acid, and more.
  2. Heroin. Heroin is derived from the opium poppy. Creating this extremely strong synthetic drug requires adding chemicals, filtering, and cooking the morphine that comes from opium.
  3. Ecstasy. While ecstasy comes from the natural sassafras root, the oil from the plant is sometimes treated with paint thinner, drain cleaner, and more toxic substances.
  4. Bath Salts. Drugs like bath salts are created in labs, which makes them synthetic.

The main differences between natural and synthetic drugs are all based on how the drugs are made before they are distributed for consumption. If a natural drug is mixed with synthetic substances, it is no longer considered organic.


Treatment for Natural & Synthetic Substances

An individual’s treatment plan will vary based on the type of substance they abuse and the effects they are experiencing from that substance. If you or a loved one is developing a dependence on any type of natural or synthetic drug, talk to a doctor or recovery specialist to determine the next best steps.

Want to learn more about the differences between synthetic and natural drugs and if you may need treatment? Contact our team of substance abuse treatment representatives by calling 267.209.7312.