Club drugs came about when raves began in England and the United States in the 1980s. Raves are dance parties that started out in abandoned places but soon became widespread and held in clubs in big cities. With electronic music playing, colorful strobe lights flashing and young people looking to party, drugs in this environment are taken by young people to enhance the experience and keep them awake into the morning.

However, we’re now in a pandemic, so is club drug consumption still what it used to be? According to recent studies, the rates of individuals using club drugs at home have risen since the global pandemic began in March of 2020. Within a club atmosphere or not, let’s take a look at the impact of club drugs, even if the venue is now inside the home.

Types of Club Drugs

Common club drugs include LSD (acid), MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine, ketamine, GHB, and Rohypnol. Most of these are stimulants or hallucinogens, but they can also include depressants. Stimulants are substances that cause the brain and central nervous system to go into overdrive by boosting alertness, increasing motor activity, removing fear, and improving mood. Hallucinogens cause you to see or hear things that are not there. Depressants are the opposite of stimulants, slowing down the central nervous system.

Consequences of Club Drugs

Club drugs can have several adverse effects, both physical and mental. Depending on the circumstances, exacerbated symptoms of use may occur. The effects may worsen if taken with alcohol or around many people, leading to laced drugs or drinks—even in a home environment.

Common Side Effects

Because every club drug is human made, there can be different ingredients added without a person’s knowledge. Due to additives, reactions to club drugs may vary from person to person. Symptoms typically show within 10 to 20 minutes after consuming the drug. Adverse effects may occur depending on how you react to the drug, including:

  • Problems with memory
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Acting aggressively
  • Impaired judgment
  • Seizures
  • Coma 
  • Death 

Long-Term Health Problems

Using club drugs consistently for an extended period can have severe consequences on your body. These include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Toxicity in the brain
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heart complications
  • Problems sleeping
  • Brain damage
  • Disturbing emotional reactions
  • Cravings
  • Addiction 
  • Extreme anxiety

Sexual Assault

Unfortunately, sexual assault may be prevalent in places where club drugs are present. Specific drugs, such as Rohypnol and GHB, are used in cases of sexual assault. These are most commonly known as “date rape” drugs—the perpetrator adds the drug to the victim’s drink without their knowledge. After the victim digests it, they can end up unconscious or unaware of where they are, thus making them a target for sexual assault. In some cases, it is possible to take a “date rape” drug on accident when you believe you are consuming a different drug. Accidental drug use is a reason to avoid club drugs altogether. 

Mixing with Alcohol

Club drug consumption may accompany alcohol use, making use more dangerous. The mixture can lead to overdose, causing long-term health complications and fatalities. 

Avoiding Club Drugs

Education is useful in avoiding club drugs. Education involves learning their names, including their street names, their effects, and their long-term consequences. If you are offered a drug at a party, you can say no. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to peer pressure.

You can protect yourself from laced drinks by always making your drinks, bringing your drinks, refusing drinks from strangers, keeping watch over your drink, and sealing your glass to make sure no one can slip anything inside. It is also helpful to ensure you have people around you who will look out for you and protect you because bad things can happen anywhere.

 

Although we’re living in a pandemic, club drugs can make their way out of raves and into people’s homes. If you or someone you love has an addiction to club drugs or any other substance, contact Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford at (877) 557-5372.