Club Drugs & Predatory Drugs
At today’s dance clubs and all-night parties, or raves, more and more people are being exposed to club and/or predatory drugs. A lot of people think these drugs are harmless, but they can cause serious mental and physical problems — and sometimes death.
There are plenty of reasons to stay away from club and predatory drugs. First of all, there is not way to know what some of the drugs actually are. Drug dealers and makers are not exactly world-class chemists, and the “labs” they use can range from sleazy hotel rooms to someone’s junked-up garage — not sanitary. Another reason to stay smart and stay away from club drugs is the dosage and concentration of these drugs are completely unknown. Plus, combining club and predatory drugs with alcohol and other mood-altering substances, as users often do, creates even greater risk.
Club and predatory drugs are also addictive. People who use GHB, for example, report detoxification symptoms after they stop using, repeated use in spite of unpleasant occurrences while they were on the drug, and great difficulty in not using again. Similarly, users of Ecstasy experience withdrawal symptoms and a renewed craving for the drug after those symptoms have passed.
So what are the risks? When you use these drugs you open yourself to potential date-rape situations and other risky activities, such as increased drug use, unpredictable behavior and unprotected sex. In short, using drugs, any kind, is just not smart.
There is a lot of misinformation being circulated about club and predatory drugs, especially on the Internet. The truth is that these drugs are illegal, harmful substances, and using them with the belief they cannot hurt you makes them even more dangerous.
The best thing that you can do is to make healthy, informed decisions about your life. Don’t give in to peer pressure, think for yourself, and know the facts about the dangers of club and predatory drugs.
If you or someone you know if having problems with drugs, there are people and places ready to help. Resources available include school counselors, members of the clergy, your local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous, rape-counseling centers, hospital substance-abuse programs and private practitioners specializing in addiction medicine.
For more information:
- National Institute on Drug Abuse Club Drugs Initiative — www.clubdrugs.org/.
- National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information — 1-800-729-6686.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) — 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Slang Terms: Grievous Bodily Harm, G, Liquid Ecstasy, Georgia Home Boy
Chemical Structure/Action: Neurotransmitter-like substance that inhibits the release of dopamine in the brain.
Form: Clear liquid, white powder, tablets, or capsules taken orally.
Physical Effects: Central nervous system depressant that can relax or sedate the body, and slow breathing and heart rate to dangerous levels at higher doses. Often used in combination with alcohol and used as a “date rape” drug.
Psychological Effects: Has intoxicant, sedative and euphoriant effects that begin with 10 to 20 minutes of the drug being taken.
Overdose Effects: Drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, loss of reflexes, impaired breathing and death.
Slang Terms: Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Fire, Glass
Chemical Structure/Action: Synthetic amphetamine that stimulates the central nervous system; similar to MDMA.
Form: Pills, capsules, powder or chunks that can be ingested, snorted, injected or smoked.
Physical Effects: Increased heart rate, convulsions, extreme rise in body temperature (as high as a potentially fatal 108 degrees), uncontrollable movements, insomnia, impaired speech, dry and itchy skin, loss of appetite, acne and sores, and numbness.
Psychological Effects: Excessive excitation, irritability, anxiety, panic, false sense of confidence and power, psychotic and violent behavior, and severe depression.
Effects of Long-Term Use: Addiction, kidney and lung disorders, brain damage, hallucinations, behavior resembling paranoid schizophrenia, permanent psychological problems, weight loss and malnutrition, lowered resistance to illness, liver damage, stroke, and death.
Overdose Effects: Agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, stroke and heart attack.
Slang Terms: K, Special K, Vitamin K, Cat Valium, Cat Tranquilizer
Chemical Structure/Action: Human and animal anesthetic that is chemically similar to the hallucinogen phencyclidine (PCP).
Form: Liquid or white powder that is snorted or smoked with marijuana or tobacco; injection into muscles also reported in some cities.
Physical Effects: Impaired motor function, high blood pressure and respiratory problems.
Psychological Effects: Dream-like states, hallucinations and depression.
Overdose Effects: Delirium, amnesia, and death from respiratory depression.
Slang Terms: Roofies, Rophies, Roche, Forget-Me Pill
Chemical Structure/Action: Belongs to a class of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines (Valium, Halcion, Xanax, etc.); not approved for use in the United States.
Form: White tablet that dissolves easily in carbonated beverages; also ground up for snorting.
Physical Effects: Sedation and intoxication, decreased blood pressure, drowsiness, visual disturbances, dizziness, confusion, gastrointestinal disturbances and urinary retention.
Psychological Effects: Can cause inability to remember events that happened while one was under the influence of the drug; this property contributes to Rohypnol’s popularity as a “date rape” drug.
Overdose Effects: Central nervous system depression that manifests in drowsiness, mental confusion and lethargy, coma and possibly death (more likely when Rohypnol is used in combination with alcohol).
Slang Terms: Acid, Boomer, Yellow Sunshines
Chemical Structure/Action: Similar in structure to serotonin; hallucinogen that produces radical changes to mental state by affecting the brainstem.
Form: Tablet, capsule or liquid, or on small pieces of blotter paper to take orally.
Physical Effects: Dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, loss of appetite, dry mouth, sleeplessness, tremors, numbness, weakness and nausea.
Psychological Effects: Abnormalities in sensory perceptions (effects vary according to the amount taken, the user’s surroundings, and his or her personality, mood and expectations.)
Effects of Long-Term Use: Persistent psychosis and flashbacks.
Overdose Effects: Longer and more intense trip, psychosis and possible death.
Slang Terms: Ecstasy, XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover’s Speed, the Hug Drug, Rolls, the Love Drug
Chemical Structure/Action: Similar to the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.
Form: Tablet or capsule taken orally.
Physical Effects: Stimulation that allows users to dance for extended periods, dehydration, hypertension, and heart or kidney failure.
Psychological Effects: Confusion, depression, anxiety and paranoia.
Effects of Long-Term Use: Long-lasting or permanent damage to serotonin-producing neurons, resulting in memory impairment.
Overdose Effects: Significant increase in body temperature leading to muscle breakdown and cardiovascular system failure; death from heart attack or stroke is also possible.
Slang Terms: Whippets, Gas, Balloons, Ozone, Thrust, Nitrous, Canisters, NOS
Chemical Structure/Action: N2O
Form: Nitrous oxide is a colorless, almost odorless gas. When placed in a tank it is a compressed gas.
Physical Effects: Euphoria, dizziness, general state of central nervous system depression. Muscles will be relaxed. Lowered blood pressure, arrhythmia, elevated pulse are common. Generally the person acts extremely anesthetized, sometimes becoming unconscious. Onset of effects are immediate, and generally last approximately 5 minutes, depending on the dose.
Psychological Effects: Nitrous oxide is considered non-addictive, however, researchers believe that it has a degree of psychological addiction.
Effects of Long-Term Use: Damage can occur to bone marrow and the central nervous system. A resultant anemia-like state may develop causing peripheral numbness, tingling sensations, and un-coordination. Long term use results in a resistance to other anesthetics and organ damage. Some of these adverse effects can be permanent.
Overdose Effects: Immediate danger of nitrous oxide is the risk of suffocation. Additionally, sniffing directly from a nitrous tank can cause frostbite of the lips, mouth, throat, and lungs because of the extremely cold temperatures of the release of the gas. Initially, abusers do not feel the frostbite until after the anesthetic effect wears off. In extreme cases, Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome can ensue.