Club drugs, used by teenagers and young adults on the nightclub or rave scene, include Ecstasy, Rohypnol, GHB and Ketamine. Not everyone who goes to clubs or all-night dances or concerts uses these drugs, but increasing numbers of people are experimenting with them. They are attracted to trying club drugs because of the increased energy and euphoric highs.
When addicted, a user is at severe risk. These drugs can create a sharp increase in the body’s temperature and this can cause the breakdown of muscle and kidney and heart failure.
Ecstasy is a stimulant and a hallucinogen. It has properties of both amphetamine and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD. It is a synthetic drug – meaning it has been manufactured. It was actually created in Germany in 1912 as an appetite suppressant.
Ecstasy comes in pill form and can also be found as a powder or occasionally in liquid form. It is swallowed, snorted, used as a suppository and sometimes injected. When Ecstasy is abused, the user can feel confusion, depression, paranoid and have extreme anxiety. They may find themselves clenching their teeth involuntarily. Their vision will blur and they will have sweating accompanied by chills. Nausea is common.
Sometimes other ingredients are added to the pills sold on the street. The other ingredients can include mescaline, caffeine, and even heroin. Whether or not other drugs are added to Ecstasy tablets, the drug can be deadly. The worst risk comes from how the drug escalates the temperature of the body, resulting in hyperthermia and possible death.
Rohypnol is a depressant of the central nervous system. It is usually colorless, odorless and tasteless. This makes it what is known as a “date-rape” drug. In such cases of sexual assault, the criminal will add it to the drink of his intended victim so it will be ingested unknowingly.
Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine. It can incapacitate those who take it, thus preventing them from resisting a criminal attack. It can also produce amnesia, so the person ingesting it may not remember what happened to them while under the effects. When mixed with alcohol, it can actually be deadly.
The drug goes by other names, such as “roach,” “roofies,” and “rope.” Rohypnol can produce physical and psychological dependence. Those addicted will have withdrawal symptoms, sometimes seizures. Although the drug creates a euphoric feeling when someone takes it, it has serious side effects. It is even more dangerous when mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
A person taking Rohypnol will feel sedated, euphoric and perhaps act uninhibited. Their speech may become slurred and they may look sleepy. Also they could experience one of the less desirable effects of the drug, such as weakness, headache, nausea or difficulty breathing.
Rohypnol can be extremely dangerous, and when mixed with alcohol can slow a person’s breathing and heart rate to very low levels. This can result in coma or death.
GHB is the acronym for Gamma Hydroxybutyric. This drug, like Rohypnol, is a central nervous system depressant. And like Rohypnol, it is tasteless, odorless and colorless. It is also considered a “date-rape” drug since it can be taken unknowingly by an intended victim.
GHB was available over the counter until 1992. It was earlier used by body builders primarily in order to reduce fat and build muscle. It now is abused for the euphoric and sedative effects. It goes by street names such as “soap,” “easy lay” and “liquid ecstasy.”
Although this drug is supposed to lower anxiety and reduce inhibitions, it can cause the user to get over-excited and have hallucinations. When abused, coma and seizures can result. When GHB is combined with methamphetamine, the risk of seizure reportedly increases.
Someone taking this drug can feel nausea, difficulty breathing and begin sweating profusely. Someone who takes a large dose may roll on the ground, flop about, fall down, become incoherent or roll his eyes. He won’t have a memory usually of what happened when on the drug.
Withdrawal from GHB can be very unpleasant and the person may need help from a drug rehab center. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, tremors, anxiety and more. GHB is more commonly overdosed than other club drugs.
Ketamine is another club drug that is a depressant of the central nervous system and contains the same characteristics of Rohypnol and GHB – colorless, tasteless and odorless. It is an anesthetic usually sold legally for the use of veterinarians. It is also used as a “date-rape” drug.
The street names for Ketamine are “special K” and “vitamin K.” It is usually snorted or injected. It causes a dream-like state and a person taking it can hallucinate. When taking a high dose, the person can become delirious, have amnesia, experience high blood pressure and possibly fatal respiratory problems.
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