Club drugs are psychoactive drugs that tend to be abused by teens and young adults at bars and nightclubs.
Club drugs include: GHB, Rohypnol®, Ketamine, Ephedrine, Methcathinone (Khat) and magic mushrooms. MDMA (Ecstasy), Methamphetamine, and LSD (Acid), are also considered club drugs.
These drugs can be harmful and heavy use can develop into a dependency. Some, when used in combination or with alcohol, can lead to fatal consequences.
‘Club drugs’ is a vague term that refers to a variety of drugs. There are uncertainties surrounding the sources, chemicals, and contaminants used to manufacture many club drugs. This makes it difficult to determine toxicity and associated medical consequences.
Most club drugs were originally created to treat medical conditions, but became recreational drugs when people discovered that their effects enhanced the experience of being in social environments and other settings.
Club drugs are a loosely defined group of stimulant drugs that have a variety of effects.
How club drugs make you feel
- Mental stimulation
- Emotional warmth
- Empathy towards others
- General sense of wellbeing
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sensory perception
Side effects can include
- Increased pulse rate
- Increased body temperature
- Hot/cold flushes
- Chest pain
- Dryness of the mouth
- Physical tension
- As the effects wear off, you can experience a long ‘comedown’, feeling depressed and unwell, which can occur for days after taking the drug
Coma and seizures can occur following use of certain club drugs. Combining club drug use with other substances such as alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties.
Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other CNS depressants. It is considered a date rape drug as the victim is incapacitated and has impaired judgement. This makes the victim more vulnerable to assault and rape accompanied by memory loss and confusion.
Ketamine, in high doses, can cause impaired motor function, unconsciousness, numbing, high blood pressure, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.