Club drugs are illicit substances used at parties, raves, or concerts to distort perception and enhance mood. These substances have been used for decades, since the 1970s disco era. Over the years people used different club drugs, but what they all have in common is a strong influence on the brain’s functions.
People use club drugs to detach themselves from reality and enhance the experience at a festival, rave, or other occasions. Many people also use club drugs to engage in risky and violent behaviors, including sexual assault and rape.
Club drugs have a strong impact on the brain, heart, kidneys, and overall psychological and physical health and wellbeing. The exact side effects of club drugs depend on the type of the substance. The most common types include ecstasy, angel dust, roofies, and LSD, among others. In most cases, these drugs are in the form of a tablet or capsule, powder, or liquid.
Club drugs go by many names depending on the type of the substance. Besides the abovementioned, other names include molly, meth and acid, liquid ecstasy, special K, and ice.
Club drugs, also known as party drugs, rave drugs, and fun drugs, are psychoactive drugs that people use recreationally during parties, concerts, raves, or in bars and clubs.
Club drugs were first associated with discotheques in the 1970s, but they’re used today as well. People use club drugs to improve their mood and change their perception of reality and senses. Club drugs are illegal and have addictive potential. Club drug side effects can be severe.
The causes of club drug abuse can be biological, psychological, or environmental. Substances of abuse, including club drugs, act on the brain’s reward system by triggering the release of dopamine. That makes a person experience satisfaction, euphoria, and relaxation, depending on the nature of the drug. These effects are short-term, however.
For that reason, a person needs to use more drugs to experience the same effects. With continued use, dopamine receptors weaken so it’s necessary to use it more frequently or at higher doses. This leads to abuse and eventually addiction.
Other causes of club drug abuse include a family history of drug and alcohol abuse or socializing with people who also do the same. Existing mental health problems or stress and frustration can also propel club drug abuse.
Club drugs can affect the brain, body, and self-control. Most people take them to experience the energy boost and alter their perception of reality.
Effects on the brain include impaired senses, memory, judgment, and coordination. Long-term effects of club drugs, like other substances, include the damage of neurons or brain cells.
At the same time, club drugs' effects on the body range from loss of motor and muscle control, and blurred vision. Sometimes club drugs also induce seizures, increase blood pressure, cause gastrointestinal disturbances, speed up heart rate, and contribute to heart and kidney failure.
Club drugs may also lead to involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, sweating or chills, reduced reaction time, aggression and violent behaviors, and hallucinations, according to NYC Health.
Some club drugs have sedating effects meaning they practically immobilize a person to make them lose consciousness. Users generally don’t remember anything that happened when under the influence. For that reason, some of these substances are used as date-rape drugs.
Risk factors for club drugs explain who is more likely to use these substances and develop potential complications. These risk factors for club drug abuse are listed below.
While everyone can use club drugs, some people are more likely to do so. Risk factors can also be categorized into the following groups:
The different types of club drugs are listed below.
Not all club drugs are the same and they can be classified into categories listed below.
What kinds of drugs are used at raves? People at raves tend to use ecstasy primarily, as well as LSD and GHB. Unfortunately, the use of date-rape drugs is particularly common in clubs or raves. Generally speaking, people at raves use any kind of drug that may enhance their energy, endurance, sexual arousal, sociability, and experience at the party.
Club drugs are generally used by teens or young adults at nightclubs, raves, concerts, bars, and parties in order to reduce inhibitions and heighten sensory perceptions. A study from the Journal of Urban Health confirms that club-going populations are most likely to use these drugs.
Men are more likely to use club drugs than women. The frequency of use of these drugs varies in terms of sexual orientation. For example, LSD was more prevalent in heterosexual males while methamphetamines are more frequently used by gay and homosexual men, according to a study from the Public Health Reports.
Persons who drink alcohol or use other illicit substances are also more likely to choose club drugs in some situations.
Signs of club drug withdrawal vary from one specific drug to another. The withdrawal signs for each individual club drug are listed below.
The treatment of club drug abuse revolves around therapy primarily. The most effective therapies are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management.
The main objective of CBT is to help users of club drugs identify negative thoughts, behaviors, and other stimuli that make them want to use these drugs. Once they do so, the therapist helps them adopt healthier coping mechanisms so they can avoid club drug use and prevent relapse.
Contingency management involves the use of incentives such as vouchers to motivate and encourage patients to stop using club drugs and remain drug-free.
Treatment of club drug abuse also indicates a person should stop using other substances. For example, they need to stop using alcohol to reduce their withdrawal symptoms.
Support groups are also helpful for persons who abuse club drugs. They work because people with the same problem get to talk about their experiences and thereby offer and receive support and encouragement.
Yes, club drugs are dangerous due to the disastrous effects they can cause. The dangers of club drugs depend on the specific substance. These drugs can induce changes in mood and awareness thereby enabling people to feel more social and less inhibited.
Impaired judgment and other effects of club drugs can lead to violence, self-harm, engaging in risky behaviors, serious health consequences, and even overdose, coma, and death. Some of these drugs also increase the risk of sexual assault and rape.
In other words, club drugs can put in danger users and people around them alike. Many people take club drugs with other substances, such as alcohol. In these cases, the risk of side effects and complications or potential dangers increases significantly.
Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a physician, an author, and a fitness lover, and he has a deep-seated desire to assist others in leading happier and more fulfilling lives.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed, who received his degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Alexandria, is committed to sharing his expertise with his audience and believes that readers deserve accurate information.
Dr. Zayed has the ability to explain difficult ideas in a way that a layperson can understand while still incorporating a scientific perspective into the discussions that surround those ideas.