Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL

Do I Need Treatment for Addiction to Synthetic Drugs?

Synthetic drugs are potent, harmful substances that mimic the effects of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Often made from damaging chemicals, they cause severe long-term damage to people’s health and wellbeing. If synthetic drug abuse is wreaking havoc on your life or the life of someone you love, don’t wait until it is too late to ask for help.

At NP Addiction Clinic, we offer a comprehensive residential substance abuse treatment program to tackle synthetic drug addiction head-on.

What Are Synthetic Drugs?

Created from various chemicals, synthetic drugs are often labeled as ‘legal’ ways to get high. Marketed as innocent objects such as plant fertilizer and herbal incense, they include warnings that they are not fit for consumption to avoid trouble with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Though the substances that synthetic drugs are made from are not illegal, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has recently identified and banned some of these substances. However, as synthetic drugs are easy to manufacture, they continue to make their way onto the market every year.

Types of Synthetic Drugs

“There are many types of synthetic drugs. However, bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids are particularly prevalent in the United States.

Bath salts may not sound dangerous, but they are among the most hazardous synthetic drugs in the United States. They appear as small white crystals and can be snorted, swallowed, or injected intravenously.

Another term for bath salts is ‘synthetic cathinones’. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they can affect the brain similarly to cocaine; however, they are ten times more powerful.”

There can sometimes be a misconception that designer drugs such as bath salts are not addictive. However, research has found that one of the active ingredients in bath salts, MDPV, is more addictive than meth.

Some of the damaging side effects of bath salts can include:

Muscle tremors

There are also many harmful long-term side effects to bath salts, including:

Organ damage or failure
Brain damage

Although bath salts are illegal in the United States, manufacturers often change their formulas and label packets as phone screen cleaners or jewelry cleaners. As it has a similar half-life to cocaine, bath salt withdrawal symptoms can appear as soon as ninety minutes after the last use.

Synthetic Cannabinoids

Also known as synthetic weed, synthetic cannabinoids contain an active ingredient that can be up to one hundred times more potent than marijuana. These particular drugs are made by spraying plant material with a chemical substance, which is then smoked.

Synthetic cannabinoids are sold under many names, such as Spice and K2. They are often labeled as containing ‘natural’ materials, but tests have shown that the active ingredients are lab-made.

The temptation to use synthetic cannabinoids has increased as they are cheaper and more readily available than marijuana. Young adults are among those affected the most by synthetic drugs, as they are easier to find and are available in gas stations and online.

Side effects of synthetic cannabinoids can be extreme and highly dangerous. 

They can include:

Aggressive behavior

There can also be dangerous long term side effects of synthetic cannabinoids, including:

Respiratory problems
Kidney failure
Brain damage

Although synthetic cannabis is banned, manufacturers find their way around this by changing formulas continuously. Even if you consistently use the same brand of spice or K2, you may not feel the same effects every time.

Other Types Of Synthetic Drugs

Other types of synthetic drugs include:

NBOMEs – AKA “designer drugs” are designed to produce similar effects to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). “Smiles”, 2-CI, 2-C, 2-Ce, 2C-b are all hallucinogenic substances. There has been far less research done on these compounds than LSD over the years so the short and long term effects are largely unknown. 

Molly – Slang for the allegedly pure version of MDMA or ecstasy. However “molly” just like everything else that purports to be ecstasy (MDMA) these days can be just about anything. Often it contains crystal methamphetamine and increasingly, fentanyl and often there is little or no actual MDMA present. “Molly” can also be a source of harmful synthetic cathinones.

All synthetic drugs can be highly addictive and damaging to the body and brain.

Why Are Synthetic Drugs So Addictive?

These types of synthetic drugs can be highly addictive because of their potency. Created in a lab, the compounds added can be much stronger than non-synthetic drugs and lead to physical and psychological dependence.

As touched on above, synthetic drugs pose a major problem, with many young adults becoming addicted to them because they are cheap and easy to find. A 2018 study also found that young adults underestimated the harm that synthetic drugs could cause.

As dangers of these drugs are sometimes overlooked, young adults may try them once or twice before becoming addicted.

Designer drugs are incredibly dangerous because it is nearly impossible to know what chemicals they contain. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regularly bans formulas, but the market changes them quickly.

Synthetic drugs are also extremely powerful and can lead to an unintentional overdose. As they are not regulated or labeled, people do not know how strong they are and may take too much, or mix them with other substances, leading to an overdose.

Treatment for Synthetic Drug Addiction

Although the effects of synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids are scary, treatment programs are available to help people through addiction and withdrawal. Taking the first step in receiving substance abuse treatment can seem daunting, but at NP Addiction Clinic, you’ll have constant support on your journey to recovery.

To begin treatment, you’ll undergo a complete detox to remove the substances from your system. 

You may experience some symptoms of withdrawal, such as:

Muscle aches

The timeline of withdrawal can vary depending on the severity of the drug addiction and the substance used. During detox, withdrawal symptoms can last for a week or longer. Though many attempt to withdraw from drugs independently, treatment programs are the safest way to detox, as medical assistance is available should severe, life-threatening symptoms arise.

Although the thought of completing treatment may be daunting, it is highly recommended. At NP Addiction Clinic, our residential substance abuse treatment treats both symptoms of addiction and the root causes. Working with our mental health specialists, you’ll have access to counseling, support groups, and therapy to identify the potential causes of addiction and reduce the chances of relapse after treatment.

Why Choose NP Addiction Clinic?

Why our St. Lucie County rehab and mental health center is right for you and your loved ones.

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24-Hour Support

We are dedicated to helping people heal, recover and live better lives, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Count on us to be there when you need us most. 

On-Site Detox

Unlike most facilities, we provide a complete, in-house safe and comfortable medical detox.We care for you from start to finish.

Mental Health Treatment Pros

We are experts in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and much more. Our mental health expertise is above and beyond the norm.

Aftercare and Alumni Support

Our aftercare, alumni support and MAT programs are second to none. We’re invested in your recovery and wellness for the long haul. 

Synthetic Drug Addiction Treatment

The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic is committed to delivering the best synthetic drug addiction treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL available. We can help you or the one you love too, but you need to make the first move. Call us now at (888) 574-3506 or send us a message using this form. 

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine