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Club Drugs

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Club drugs are among the most common recreational drugs used among teens, along with alcohol and marijuana. This is because club drug use enhances and intensifies teenagers’ experience of social interaction. Since they can be taken in pill, powder, or liquid form, club drugs tend to be more acceptable for teens who have been educated about the dangers of injecting drugs, such as heroin. However, many teens are not aware of the hazards of club drugs.

What Are Club Drugs?

Club drugs are a category of drugs typically used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, raves, music festivals, and parties. Also called party drugs or rave drugs, they include GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), ketamine, Rohypnol, MDMA, (also known as ecstasy or molly), methamphetamines, and hallucinogens, including LSD (acid).

Club drugs are said to give users a high that creates a feeling of closeness with fellow concertgoers, as well as energy to keep dancing and partying. However, effects of club drugs vary according to which drug is taken, which makes it difficult to define club drugs as a single category. While GHB is classified as a depressant, LSD is a hallucinogen. MDMA is similar to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.

Club drugs are dangerous and can be life threatening, particularly when combined with alcohol or other substances. Emergency room visits due to MDMA increased by 128 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to the most recent statistics available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Moreover, Rohypnol and GHB are labeled date rape drugs because they can be added to food or drink without a victim’s knowledge, and have an amnesiac effect that prevents a victim from remembering what happened.

Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration