designer drug

a drug produced by a minor modification in the chemical structure of an existing drug, resulting in a new substance with similar pharmacologic effects, esp. one created to achieve the same effect as a controlled or illegal drug.
[1980-85]

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Synthetic version of a controlled narcotic substance.

Designer drugs usually are synthesized for the first time in an attempt to create a chemical whose molecular structure differs only slightly from that of some well-known controlled substance but whose effects are essentially the same. Because of the difference in molecular structure, the designer drug, unlike the controlled substance, ordinarily will not be specifically listed as illicit by law-enforcement organizations. Many designer drugs are manufactured in clandestine laboratories, often by amateurs; for this reason they are sometimes more dangerous than the drugs they are intended to replace. One of the best-known is MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), a variation of methamphetamine, popularly called Ecstasy. Nonnarcotic synthetic chemical compounds designed to interact with specific proteins and enzymes in order to combat disease also have been called designer drugs.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • designer drug — de·sign·er drug n: a synthetic version of a controlled substance (as heroin) that is produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid having it classified as an illegal drug Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • designer drug — ☆ designer drug n. a drug that has been developed by changing slightly the chemical structure of an existing drug, as to evade legal prohibition or to produce certain desired effects …   English World dictionary

  • designer drug — designer .drug n an illegal drug that has an exciting or relaxing effect, and is taken for pleasure …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Designer drug — Not to be confused with Drug design. Designer drug is a term used to describe drugs that are created (or marketed, if they had already existed) to get around existing drug laws, usually by preparing analogs or derivatives of existing drugs by… …   Wikipedia

  • designer drug — noun a psychoactive drug deliberately synthesized to avoid anti drug laws; mimics the effects of a banned drug; law was revised in 1986 to ban designer drugs • Hypernyms: ↑psychoactive drug, ↑mind altering drug, ↑consciousness altering drug,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • designer drug — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms designer drug : singular designer drug plural designer drugs an illegal drug produced artificially from chemicals designer drugs like Ecstasy …   English dictionary

  • designer drug — de·sign·er drug di .zī nər n 1) a synthetic version of a controlled substance (as heroin) that is produced with a slightly altered molecular structure to avoid classification as an illicit drug 2) a synthetic drug created (as by genetic… …   Medical dictionary

  • designer drug — noun A drug specifically developed to replace an illegal recreational drug (so as to circumvent existing drug laws), usually by modifying its molecular structure …   Wiktionary

  • designer drug — design′er drug′ n. pha a drug produced by a minor modification in the chemical structure of an existing drug, resulting in a new substance with similar pharmacological effects • Etymology: 1980–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • designer drug — /dəˈzaɪnə drʌg/ (say duh zuynuh drug) noun a synthetically produced drug, the chemical structure of which differs in minor detail from an illegal drug (especially cocaine or heroin) which it is intended to imitate so as to produce a specific… …   Australian English dictionary

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