Club drugs are a class of drugs that are commonly used by individuals at dance parties or “raves” and have become immensely popular among young adults in today’s culture. The following drugs are the most commonly used “club drugs”:
Ecstacy or MDMA
Ecstasy is a mixture of MDMA and any number of other common street drugs including methamphetamine (speed), cocaine, heroin, and LSD. Ecstasy is referred to on the streets by a variety of names including “Beans”, “Rolls”, “Tabs”, “X”, “XTC”, and “E” or “Vitamin E”.
Ecstasy works by flooding the synapse in the brain with large amounts ofserotonin that creates a general sense of euphoria for the user. Touching and tactile sensations are often greatly enhanced in users and, as a result, a variety of strange behaviors are often witnessed at rave parties.
Often overlooked by ecstasy users is the high occurrence of fatal overdoses. The use of MDMA produces many life-threatening conditions in the body. Hyperthermia and dehydration are among the most common. Users are often very physically active and may forget to rest or drink water.
Another great danger associated with ecstasy is the relatively low level of awareness among users as to exactly what chemicals they are ingesting. Since it normally comes as a small brightly colored pill, users are not conscious of the fact that they are taking a combination of very dangerous street drugs.
GHB stands for gamma hydroxy butyrate, a compound that acts as a central nervous system depressant. GHB is sometimes referred to as “G” or “Liquid E”. It takes a variety of forms such as a fine white powder, a tablet or as a clear liquid. GHB has become notorious as a date rape drug because it can be slipped into a victims drink and render that person unable to defend themselves and often completely unconscious.
The effects of GHB include intoxication, happiness, increased desire to socialize, loss of motor coordination, and difficulty concentrating. Side effects include nausea, amnesia, headaches, respiratory problems, loss of consciousness, and even death.
Ketamine or “Special K”
Ketamine is classified as a dissociative drug because of its effect of separating a user’s sensation from his or her perception. Chemically, the drug is related to PCP and has similar effects. Ketamine is usually obtained from legitimate sources like veterinarian clinics and is prepared by evaporating the liquid form to obtain the solid crystalline powder.
Ketamine has become very popular at raves because of the following effects it produces: hallucination, euphoria, amplified visual and tactile perception and an effect sometimes referred to as the “K Hole” where users often have an out-of-body experience coupled with intense visual and psychological distortions.
The good news is that many abusers of club drugs have been successfully treated for their addictions.