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The use of club drugs began in the 1980’s at dance parties in Great Britain and spread to the United States with the rave scene in the 1990’s. One famous outcome of this scene was “date rape” drugs. Most young (or young at heart) adults that are into the club scene are familiar with substances commonly referred to as “club drugs”. These include drugs like MDMA, Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine which are generally attractive to club goers for their low cost and the intoxicating high that can intensify the clubbing experience. Street names for club drugs include XTC, X (MDMA), Special K, Vitamin K (Ketamine), soap (GHB), and roofies (Rohypnol).
Most of these drugs are central nervous system depressants, and a couple of them (GHB and Rohypnol) have become famous as date rape drugs or more recently in movies like The Hangover. GHB in combination with other drugs can cause nausea, breathing difficulties, and even comas (not to mention overdoses and death).
Ketamine (AKA “special K” or “vitamin K”) was developed as an anesthetic for both human and animal use, however, about 90% of the Ketamine currently produced and sold legally in the United States is intended for veterinary use. It can be injected or snorted and can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. In higher doses, users can experience delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory issues.
Rohypnol is not approved in the United States for any legal purposes, but it began showing up in the 1990’s for illicit uses. It is in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and when mixed with alcohol it can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault (hence the term date-rape drug). Because it is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless liquid it can easily be mixed in someone’s drink and produce a state of aterograde amnesia where the individual may not remember events (like a sexual assault) they experienced while under the effects of the drug.
MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Other street names for MDMA include XTC and the “hug drug.” Because MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to break it down, or metabolise it, potentially toxic levels of the drug can quickly be reached by repeated short interval usage. This can result in extremely elevated body temperature resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure (more commonly referred to as death).
While the euphoric effects of these chemicals is undeniable, the jury is still out on the proper drug treatment related to their usage. Unlike other substances of addiction, a person using club drugs is most often doing so in a social setting with many others using the same, or similar, drugs. Being part of that group gives the user a sense of belonging that they may not feel anywhere else in their life. Until the damaging effects of their drug usage reaches a point that outweighs the perceived social benefits, the person may not feel a need to give up their lifestyle and seek professional drug treatment. Don’t wait any longer to get your loved on the help they need. Call us Pathways Recovery at (916)235-9259 to learn more about our drug treatment programs or click here.