Club Drugs: Harmless ‘Fun’ or Dangerous Game?

Club Drugs: Harmless ‘Fun’ or Dangerous Game?

There is a common perception that “club drugs” are harmless and meant for just having fun at parties. More and more young, and not so young, people today are leading increasingly frenetic social lives and looking to maximize the “fun” experience while they can. In the process they encounter more than just food, music, and drinks while at parties. They come across things like Ecstasy, Rohypnol, and GHB. These are thought to be fun drugs, to be taken for a good time with no side effects.

Although the immediate side effects of these drugs may seem to be minimal, research shows that these drugs have an insidious long-term effect on the brain and can, in due course, cause serious mental problems. Paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, amnesias, and long-term cognitive degeneration are just some of the effects that these ‘fun’ club drugs can have. In fact, cases of extreme psychosis leading to suicides or serious self-inflicted injuries are not unknown.

Because the club drugs are usually consumed at clubs or private parties, they are often mixed with alcohol which increases the chances of mental and emotional damage. Some of the club drugs affect the same part of the brain as alcohol and this combined effect can easily cause neural overload that can result in serious psychological problems.

The reactions of individuals to these drugs varies greatly. Some have little or no apparent reaction to these drugs. This may encourage others to take them and these people may suffer from far more extreme reactions that could range from psychotic episodes to even death. Another problem is that these club drugs are circulated in large quantities in clubs and parties and are often adulterated, so as to ensure that the required quantity is available. The adulterating substances are often highly toxic or else may be chemicals that, when combined with the drugs, can form dangerous and even lethal compounds.

Many of these club drugs are colorless and tasteless, and so it is easy to slip them into the drinks of those who may not be willing to try them. This creates a growing market for these drugs. Besides this, they are often also used for other criminal purposes. GHB is commonly used to lower a person’s powers of resistance and cause short term memory loss, which is why it is known as the “date rape drug.”

Some of the common club drugs are:

• LSD or “acid” is the classical “trip” drug from the 1960s. It is known to cause long term personality changes and disorders.
• Meth or Speed, Chalk or Ice is the most popular and is known to cause psychotic behavior, aggression, memory loss and heart problems.
• Ketamine or “Special K” is an anesthetic that can cause delirium, breathing problems, amnesia and extremely high blood pressure.
• Rohypnol is colorless and tasteless. It causes short term memory loss and can result in serious gastric problems.
• GHB or Liquid Ecstasy can, if taken in excess, result in placing the user in a coma that could lead to death.
• Ecstasy is a hallucinogen that is known to cause loss of mental abilities, memory and sleep disorders.

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