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Club Drugs: The Basics

By Steve Joseph

In recent times there has been a tremendous upsurge in the popularity of drugs amongst teens and young adults. A new culture of "club drugs has emerged within the bar, rave and nightclub scene across Europe, The United States, Australia and other wealthy nations. The club drugs of choice are:

-MDMA (Ecstasy)

-Rohypnol

-GHB and

-Ketamine

These drugs offer relatively cheap highs and their pill form make them easy to consume and traffic. Most of these drugs are usually used in high doses and are easily capable of causing spikes in body temperature (malignant hyperthermia), leading to muscle, kidney and cardiovascular damage.

MDMA (ECSTASY) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug and stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. There are various other street names for this drug such as; beans, hug, love drug, XTC and Adam, but ecstasy is the most common name. It offers the user a stimulant and hallucinogenic affect and has properties like that of both amphetamines and LSD. It is most common in pill form due to the ease of use although it can be injected, snorted or used in a suppository form.

Psychological complications directly attributed to the use of MDMA include:

-Confusion

-Depression

-Sleep Problems

-Anxiety

-Paranoia

Physical problems include:

-Muscle tension

-Involuntary teeth clenching

-Nausea

-Blurred vision

-Faintness

-Chills or Sweating

The use of MDMA has also been linked to brain damage, primarily affecting the parts responsible for memory, pleasure and critical thought. Obviously due to the unregulated nature of the drug, the contents can vary greatly and also the concentrations. The use of this drug has grown tremendously in the past ten years if emergency room figures are anything to go by. In 1994 only 250 cases involving MDMA were reported but that figure has swelled to 2,850 in 1999 and continues to grow steadily.

ROHYPNOL, GBH and KETAMINE are all used to depress the central nervous system. These drugs are almost completely tasteless and odorless as well as being colorless. This lends the drugs to being used as "date rape drugs", a use that became more common during the 1990's. Much like MDMA, these depressants have grown enormously in popularity over the past ten years. The side effects can include:

-Loss of motor skills

-Amnesia

-Seizure

-Nausea

-Hallucinations

-High Blood Pressure

-Depression

These drugs have the potential to be particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol.


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