Synthetics — a wide-reaching drug "class" of sorts that utilizes man-made compounds and substances to create psychoactive experiences for users — have been steadily rising in popularity over recent years. There's a whole new world of substances waiting for those that know where to look, but aside from a few prominent examples (such as the multiple substituted cathinones that were dubbed "bath salts" in the US) this uptick in use has gone largely unreported. Writing for New York, Vanessa Grigoriadis pulls back the curtain on this relatively new field, explaining the motivations and processes of those that make and use synthetics.