Club drugs are increasingly being
used by teens and young adults at nightclubs, bars, raves and
trances. Raves and trances are all-night dance parties, conducted
at warehouses and other locations, where drugs may be used by
some of the partygoers. Not all who go to raves and dance parties
use illicit drugs, but those who do say that they enhance the
Club Drug Effects
The downside of club drugs, however, is that they can cause serious
health problems and even death, especially when used in conjunction
with alcohol. Ecstasy, Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Methamphetamines
and LSD are the most common illegal drugs on the scene. Rohypnol
is also known as the "date rape" drug and has been implicated
in many sexual assaults over the past 5 years.
Many teens and young adults are attracted to the drugs because
of the euphoria one may feel when at first taking the substances.
Most illicit drugs are also easy to obtain and cost little compared
to other illegal substances.
Ecstasy (MDMA) is perhaps the
most famous of the club drugs, which is both a stimulant and a
hallucinogenic. XTC, as it is often referred, is a "hug drug"
that loosens inhibitions and gives a feeling of temporary wellbeing,
energy, empathy and openness. Ecstasy was legal in the United
States before May 31, 1985 as it was used as a designer recreational
drug and sometimes in psychotherapeutic settings. Molly is a higher
purity form of Ecstasy now making its rounds in the clubs in implicated
in causing deaths.
The health issues associated
with the club drug XTC are primarily the body's
inability to regulate temperature. This can lead to kidney, liver
and cardiovascular system failure. Also, users may either drink
too much or too little water while taking the club drug, which
in some cases can even cause death. Long-term use of Ecstasy can
cause brain impairment, memory loss, sleep disorders and the inability
to regulate emotion or pain.
The club drug Rohypnol is in the class of benzodiazepines and when
mixed with alcohol can render a victim helpless to resist sexual
assault. Rohypnol, which can easily and undetectably be slipped
into drinks, can also cause amnesia in the victims so that they
may not remember being assaulted.
Ketamine as a club drug is also known as "Special K"
and is an anesthetic primarily used by veterinarians. Small amounts
of this club drug results in loss of attention span and memory.
Larger doses of the club drug may result in depression, severe breathing
problems and high blood pressure.
The club drug GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate)
may be made in one's home using common ingredients.
Low doses may cause mild relaxation, while higher doses may cause
coma or death. GHB was used in the 1980's and early 1990's, over-the-counter
by body builders to reduce fat and gain muscle mass.
Methamphetamines have gained
steam in recent years as a club drug even though they don't have
the sedating effects of many of the other illegal drugs. Methamphetamines
can cause violent and psychotic behavior, memory loss and heart
LSD is a psychedelic club
drug that has also made a resurgence lately. LSD
first gained momentum in the Timothy Leary 1960's era with free
love and the Vietnam War raging. In 1967, LSD was outlawed in
the U. S. and underground and recreational use ensued. As a club
drug, LSD effects can be seen evoking
unpredictable behavior in the user, increased heart rate, sleeplessness,
flashbacks and "bad trips" and even psychosis.
Though club drugs may be popular with some teen and young adults
in party situations, they also pose real and life-threatening
health risks. At an age when many youth may feel invincible, feeling
the negative effects of drugs may come as a shock as true human
vulnerabilities to taking illicit substances are exposed and brought