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According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, the term “club drugs” or “party drugs” refers to recreational drugs known for their frequent use by those who attend raves and frequent dance clubs. Though many different psychoactive drugs may be used on the club scene, this article will provide an introduction to some of the most commonly abused club drugs, many of which can be highly addictive and incredibly dangerous.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to club drugs, getting treatment as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. This page will also introduce you to Reco Intensive‘s drug addiction treatment program, which can help those suffering from an addiction to club drugs as well as any other drug.
Ecstasy is a drug also known by its scientific name of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), or by street names like Molly. The drug mimics the chemical properties of both stimulants and hallucinogens, temporarily increasing the ability of our brain’s neurons to communicate with other neurons. The result is a powerful drug that affects a user’s mood and perceptions.
MDMA is a relatively new drug. A synthetic substance, it was formulated in a German lab around the turn of the 20th century, although it didn’t enter the United States until the 1970s. Initially used for treatment in clinical settings by psychiatrists, the authorities soon realized the danger the drug posed to users and to society. By 1985, the DEA had officially banned Ecstasy.
In addition to distorting a user’s sense of time and place, Ecstasy can boost energy, increase pleasure, and create an artificial sense of emotional warmth. However, it can also lead to crippling drug addiction and severe health repercussions. Health risks of high doses of ecstasy include changes in blood pressure, hyperthermia, and dehydration, which in extreme cases can lead to kidney failure and even death without proper treatment.
Yet because of its relatively recent use in clinical trials, some people still believe Ecstasy is harmless though it is clearly not. Others believe it has valid therapeutic benefits as a mental health treatment. However, there is no solid evidence for these benefits, hence MDMA’s classification as a Schedule I drug. This makes the drug illegal to sell or use for any purpose—whether recreational or medicinal.
In fact, studies associating repeated use of the drug with substantial brain damage suggest that it may not even be fit for human consumption. Even in the short term, taking the drug can lead to an ensuing crash into depression because the substance depletes the brain’s supply of “happy chemical” serotonin. Don’t be fooled by the myths. Molly addiction is a serious condition that must be treated like any form of dependency.
Ketamine is a “club drug” that was initially developed as an anesthetic in the early 1960s but later became more known for its club drug use in the 1980s. The drug is still used rarely for some forms of medical treatment. Street names for ketamine include Special K, Super K, Vitamin K, Super Acid, Jet, or Kit-Kat.
Ketamine has dissociative effects, meaning that it makes one feel disconnected from themselves and their body, as well as hallucinogenic effects. Users of ketamine may report a floating or euphoric sensation or intense, dreamlike visual imagery.
However, higher doses of ketamine can result in troubling symptoms like amnesia, delirium, or even total immobilization. Outside of a medical setting, ketamine use can also be physically dangerous, especially to those with underlying health concerns, because of its ability to cause respiratory depression and high blood pressure.
So-called because of their high potential for abuse by those who use them to sedate their victims to facilitate sexual assault, club drugs commonly referred to as date rape drugs include gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and Rohypnol, though ketamine is sometimes used as a date rape drug as well.
These “club drugs” are powerful central nervous system depressants, which means they suppress the central nervous system to such a high degree that they can render a victim incapable of fighting back or entirely unconscious. They also tend to be colorless and odorless, meaning they can be easily slipped into a drink without a potential sexual assault victim noticing, especially in a chaotic club environment.
Since GHB can have euphoric effects when taken in small doses, it is sometimes used as a recreational drug as well. Though it is also known by street names like “liquid ecstasy,” it is available in capsule form as well. Rohypnol belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs and is used for the treatment of severe insomnia, and is sometimes used recreationally as well.
Other psychoactive drugs sometimes used as party drugs include other hallucinogens, like the hallucinogen mescaline or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD.) These psychoactive substances can produce profound behavioral changes by fostering a complete disconnection from reality by inducing powerful visual hallucinations.
Other stimulants, including illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine as well as drugs used in the treatment of ADHD like Ritalin and Adderall, are also popular club drugs. This is because they allow young adults who take them as party drugs to stay up dancing and partying longer than they otherwise would.
Other depressants, like opiates and benzodiazepines, may also be used as club drugs because of their potential to induce relaxation and euphoria. And unpredictable synthetic drugs with a wide variety of effects are also often available on the club scene.
Finally, though most club drugs are illegal, it’s also important not to forget alcohol abuse when rounding up club drugs and party drugs. Many people who consume club drugs drink alcohol while taking other substances, which can increase the risks of the other recreational drugs by amplifying their effects.
Taking other drugs along with alcohol, especially stimulant party drugs, can make users less aware of how much alcohol they are drinking, which can, in turn, lead to alcohol poisoning severe enough to require treatment.
As with other drugs, abuse of club drugs can result in club drug addiction, a mental illness defined by compulsive club drug use regardless of continual negative consequences. Those suffering from club drug addiction may also experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking club drugs, or may not be able to function normally without them.
Though club drugs are primarily associated with young adults, other adults may use them as well, as club drug addiction doesn’t discriminate. If you or someone you know is struggling with club drug use, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as long-term use of club drugs is likely to result in increasing physical and mental health problems.
However, long-term recovery is possible. At Reco Intensive, our Delray Beach drug addiction treatment program, we do everything in our power to help our clients make their way towards a sustained recovery with our comprehensive approach to substance abuse treatment.
Along with offering the latest evidence-based treatments shown to increase the chances of overcoming drug use, we also offer a variety of holistic treatment options to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual fallout of substance addiction and to help heal the “whole person.”
If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction to club drugs, call RECO Intensive at (855) 799-1035 or contact us here to learn more about our treatment program or about treatment admissions. We offer specialized club drug addiction treatment at our facility in Delray Beach, FL. Together, we can conquer addiction and create a brighter future.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.