There is a dangerous misconception among many young people that club drugs are relatively harmless. Many users see this type of substance use as just a bit of harmless fun – a way to get everyone into the mood for dancing and socialising. The reality is that these drugs are very dangerous and can easily lead to death. An example of the dangers of these substances was highlighted recently when a group of club-goers in North Wales were temporarily blinded after taking a substance known as ‘brain‘.
What Are Club Drugs?
Club drugs refer to a wide range of substances that are popular mostly among young people who enjoy the club scene. These drugs are usually combined with alcohol, making them even more dangerous. Users of these substances claim that it adds to the enjoyment of the evening, making it easier for them to have fun. Club drugs can produce many desirable effects, including increased energy levels, euphoria, and hallucinations.
The most commonly abused club drugs include:
- GHB, which is a depressant that can cause intoxication. It is also known as juice, lollipops, or liquid ecstasy.
- Poppers (amyl nitrite) trigger an intense and quick high – they are particularly popular in the gay club scene because of the ability of this drug to enhance a sexual experience.
- Ecstasy (MDMA) is a type of amphetamine and it is one of the most popular of all the club drugs. Those using this drug experience increased energy and feelings of euphoria.
- Ketamine is used medically as a general anaesthetic (mostly on animals) and it can trigger dissociative symptoms as well as intense hallucinations.
- Rohypnol (roofies) is a type of benzodiazepine – it is also popular for being the ‘date rape’ drug because it triggers loss of memory.
The Dangers of Club Drugs
The fact that club drugs have become such a firm part of popular culture means that many people believe these substances are safe. Plenty claim to take these drugs occasionally and never suffer any bad consequences. The problem is that there are also plenty of examples of those taking these substances just once and ending up dying as a result. Some of the dangers associated with club drugs include:
- being highly addictive
- those trying club drugs are more likely to also experiment with highly addictive substances like heroin
- drugs like rohypnol and ketamine can be easily used by rapists on unsuspecting victims, as it is not possible to have consensual sex when intoxicated by these drugs
- drugs like GHB can cause seizures or coma
- causing a great deal of damage to every organ in the body
- developing heat exhaustion
- losing the ability to make good choices, meaning individuals can put themselves in dangerous situations
- many examples of people who have committed suicide while high on club drugs
- drugs like rohypnol can be lethal when mixed with alcohol
- these club drugs are often cut with substances that are very toxic.
There can be a great deal of pressure on those who enjoy nightclubs to engage in this type of substance abuse. It is important to understand that these drugs are not harmless. The consequences of using them, even once, can be tragically bad. Those using these substances need to be encouraged to stop and, if they are unable to, they may need addiction help to do so.