“Raves”, or all night dance parties, began in England, and spread to the United States in the early 1990s. One down side to this cultural phenomenon is the resurgence of certain drugs, and the creation of new ones. The drugs popularized by the “rave scene” are grouped together, and known as club drugs. According to the FBI, there are a number of these drugs, and they all have different effects.
MDMA is a psychedelic stimulant. It is most commonly known as ecstasy, which is typically ingested as a pill. In its pure molecular powder form, MDMA is known as Molly. Some of the effects of MDMA include:
- increased energy,
- high blood pressure,
- high heart rate,
- mild hallucinations,
- feelings of euphoria and trust, and
GHB, or gamma-hydoxybutyrate, is a central nervous system depressant. It is usually in the form of a liquid that is added to food or beverages. GHB is commonly used as a date rape drug, because of its effects, which include:
- poor muscle control,
- decreased breathing and heart rate,
- feelings of euphoria,
- blackouts (especially if combined with alcohol), and
Methamphetamines, also known as crystal meth, meth, speed, and ice, are a group of drugs that act as central nervous system stimulants. Methamphetamine is most commonly found in crystalline or powder form, and can be taken by injection, snorting, ingesting, or smoking it. Some of its effects include:
- dependence and addiction (often from the first dose),
- increased energy,
- high heart rate and blood pressure,
- aggression, and
- rapid deterioration of the body.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, also known as LSD or acid, is a psychedelic made popular in the 1960s. It is seeing a resurgence in use because of the club culture of today. Some of its effects are:
- increased heart rate, and
PCP and Ketamine
PCP and Ketamine are dissociative drugs that were originally used in anesthesia. However, their dissociative effects caused them to no longer be used in humans (they have since become animal tranquilizers). They have a number of street names such as angel dust and special-k, and their effects include:
- out of body experiences,
- heart and breathing problems,
- dependence and addiction,
- agitation and aggression, and
- extreme paranoia and anxiety.
Also known as roofies, Rohypnol is a sedative that is both tasteless and odorless, and easily dissolves in carbonated beverages. It is an extremely popular date rape drug because of its effects, which are:
- dizziness, and
Prescription stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, are popular club drugs, as well. Their effects play a large part in this popularity, and may include:
- increased energy and wakefulness,
- heart palpitations, and
- mild hallucinations.
Why are Club Drugs Dangerous?
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about club drugs is the statistics concerning who takes them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the majority of club drugs are abused by teens and young adults. In fact, as much as 20% of all young people have abused club drugs in their lifetime. This is a frightening trend that paves the way to a culture of ingrained drug abuse and addiction.