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Designer- Drugs: Facts and Resources
High School - Ages 14 to 18
Designer- Drugs: Facts and Resources

Table of Contents


Designer drugs are synthetic drugs that have been chemically altered to circumvent drug laws.

  • Chemicals,classified as "not for human consumption," emerged in 2010, when they first became available online.
  • Chesterfield County law-enforcement, medical, education and substance-abuse-treatment communities have become aware of the use of designer drugs throughout the Greater Richmond area, including use of 25i.
  • Use of these drugs has resulted in strong adverse effects, including medical and psychiatric hospitalization or death.


Reactions and experiences may vary dramatically from person to person. Effects can be unpredictable, even with the same person taking the same dose at different times.

Negative effects increase when

  • used at higher doses
  • combined with other mood-altering substances
  • user has a history of mood or anxiety disorders

Effects may include

  • violent behavior
  • vivid hallucinations
  • general change in consciousness
  • unusual body sensations, such as facial flushing, chills, goose bumps or nervous energy
  • increased heart rate
  • higher blood pressure
  • change in perception of time
  • nausea and vomiting
  • insomnia
  • pupil dilation
  • difficulty focusing
  • mental and physical stimulation
  • intensified mood or unwanted and overwhelming feelings, whether euphoric, paranoid, fearful, panicky, depressed or angry



  • Because these drugs are relatively new, the short- and long-term effects are not known.
  • Each person's body chemistry is different, so individual reactions vary in type and intensity.
  • Use of these drugs is dangerous and can lead to serious health problems, including
    • seizures
    • suicide
    • lack of blood flow to extremities
    • gangrene
    • death 


While 25i is not currently a federally controlled substance, in Virginia any person caught manufacturing, distributing, selling or marketing 25i, or any hallucinogen, is subject to arrest and prosecution for a felony.

Action Steps for Parents

Create a family environment  

  • Establish open, effective communication with your child. This will instill trust, responsibility and accountability.
  • Send a clear message to your child by setting a good example.

Discuss your expectations  

  • Have a conversation about your child's behavior as it relates to their use of substances.

Explain the short- and long-term dangers  

  • Discuss the consequences of substance use.

Through open communication 

  • Let your child know that you want them to be safe at all times.
  • This may require communicating with other parents, monitoring your child's whereabouts, phone, internet accounts and credit card charges.

If you notice a marked change 

  • Watch to see if your child's friends, interests, appearance or health, if you do, talk with your child and, if necessary, seek help from resources listed.  

Information for Young People

  • Most youths in Chesterfield County do not use illegal drugs.  
  • The illegal use of any substance (not just designer drugs) can lead to serious physical, legal, and educational consequences. The harmful effects of designer drugs are particularly unpredictable.
  • If you are with someone who has used alcohol or other drugs and have any concern about their health or safety, call 911 immediately, followed by a call to a trusted adult.
  • If you are concerned about your own or someone else's substance use, use one of the resources listed below.


Many of the following organizations offer a wide range of services, but only those services related to drug abuse are referenced below.

  • Parents may also contact their primary-care physician for diagnosis and treatment options or referrals to a specialist.

County Resources

The Chesterfield County Mental Health Child and Adolescent Services Substance Abuse Team  

  • Provides assessment, evidenced-based individual, family and group therapy to youths who are using mood-altering substances or who may have co-occurring mental-health and substance-abuse problems.
  • The team uses the Seven Challenges program, which has proven to be effective.

For more information, call Trish Mullen at 804-717-6748. To request services, call 804-768-7316.

The Chesterfield County Mental Health Crisis Team  

  • Provides assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 804-748-6456.

Chesterfield County Mental Health Prevention Team 

  • Offers parent education through consultation, classes and workshops.

Call Prevention Services at 804-768-7800 or, for a list of current classes, see Parenting Education Classes.

Manchester Rescue Squad  

  • Offers the community information, resources and a designated Safe Place, in addition to providing emergency medical services.

Safe Places  

  • empowers youth
  • provides immediate help when they are in dangerous situations, including drug-related ones

If you 

  • have run away
  • are kidnapped
  • are abused
  • on an unsafe date
  • in the car with an unsafe or drunk driver
  • locked out of the house
  • having trouble at home or school
  • avoiding a bully

Call 804-276-4344 or stop by the rescue squad located at

3500 Courthouse Road,
Chesterfield, VA 23235

Trained staff will call a designated help line and a Safe Place caseworker will be sent to pick up the child or teen, assess the situation, and provide assistance.

If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 911.

Chesterfield /Colonial Heights Crime Solvers  

  • Provides an anonymous system for submitting tips about crimes or violations of school policies.

Call 804-748-0660; text "tip 699," plus your message, to CRIMES (274637); or complete and submit the online form.

Community Resources

Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc., or SAFE,

  • Work with youths, parents and community groups to find ways to reduce substance abuse in the community.

For more information or to become involved, visit SAFE, call 804-796-7100 or email.

The Positive Parenting Coalition  

  • Provides information and resources for parents.

For an extensive list of resources, visit Positive Parenting.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org 

  • Provides information about drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.

Parents may visit online, Drug Free or call the toll-free helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE, or 1-855-378-4373.

The Addiction Resource  

  • The goal is to provide resources to help patients and their loved ones so that they may stay on the road to recovery, and can successfully overcome addiction for life.

Parents may submit questions or comments through an online form, or call the White House at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


  • Encourages youth to define themselves and offers facts, FAQ's, Ask the Doc and other helpful resources.

Visit online Above the Influence or submit questions and comments.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse  

For more information, email or call 1-301-443-1124. Para más información, correo electrónico o llamar al 1-301-443-1124.

Resources for Chesterfield County Public School students and their families

Chesterfield County Health Department School Health Services 

  • Provides care coordination for students and families with health concerns, including drug abuse.

Call your child's school or the Chesterfield County Health Department School Health Services at 804-748-1633.

Chesterfield County Police School resource officers  

  • Located in each middle and high school. They connect students and families to resources in school and in the community.

Call your child's school or Sergeant Ron Storts at 804-706-2732.

Chesterfield County Public Schools Student Support Services  

  • Consists of counselors, psychologists and social workers, who provide students and their families with information about substance-abuse and community-treatment options.

Call your child's school or Bryan Carr at 804-279-7319.