Substance abuse and the proliferation of club drugs are an epidemic among all age groups; adolescents, teens, adults, and even the older generations are struggling with addiction at higher rates than before.
Among the many reasons for this are the social factors related to the underground culture of recreational drug users. Genetic factors also make some individuals especially susceptible to alcohol and drug addiction.
What’s more, nobody begins experimenting with mind-altering substances with the intent of becoming addicted. Rather, the addiction occurs as the individual loses control of his or her substance abuse habit, requiring more of the substance of choice more frequently until he or she develops a physical and emotional dependency.
By the time they realize they are no longer in control of their recreational substance abuse, it’s too late for them to simply stop using.
Many avenues lead to addiction. The slippery slope toward developing an alcohol use disorder or addiction is especially worrisome among contemporary youths for many reasons.
For one thing, many adolescents and teens will partake in whatever activities that are considered trendy or fashionable among members of their social group. This is why it’s more common for teens and young adults to use substances in groups rather than on a solitary basis.
Additionally, many teens seem to be intrigued by contemporary drug culture in which individuals combine recreational drug abuse and intoxication with a social experience. This can take the form of parties where adolescents, teens, and young adults drink to excess and participate in the consumption of drugs like marijuana and cocaine.
However, these days, it’s increasingly popular for young people to abuse particular substances while attending wild parties, clubs, dance bars, raves, and the like. This is a dangerous trend because recreational substance abuse is encouraged and almost expected among youths.
They’re often exposed to and combine a variety of substances at a single event that produces adverse and life-threatening reactions, and many of the drugs that circulate at these events—often casually and loosely referred to as “club drugs”—impair users to such a degree as to make them susceptible to being raped, mugged, abducted, or killed.
As such, it’s crucial to increase public awareness about these so-called club drugs if we’re to encourage today’s younger generations to abstain from participating in this very dark aspect of the drug culture.
What Are Club Drugs?
In short, club drugs are mind-altering substances that are commonly and popularly used at night clubs, bars, raves, festivals, parties, and other such events. Unlike “opiates,” which are defined as the drugs derived from the opium poppy,club drugs are considered to be categorized by convenience as many of the substances considered to be club drugs are very different.
Today, the most common club drugs include ecstasy (Molly) and other popular phenethylamines, inhalants such as nitrous oxide (“poppers”), stimulants such as cocaine and crystal meth, hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms (“magic shrooms”), and more.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of variation among the substances considered club drugs, which are often combined in a variety of ways to heighten or achieve different effects.
Club drugs are typically consumed for the purpose of enhancing the user’s experience of these particular events, which has been a common practice as far back as the 1970s when patrons of the clubs and discothèques would consume cocaine, quaaludes, and amyl nitrate in combination with alcohol.
During the 1980s, club drugs flourished as an aspect of club culture. They were a common part of the experience of attending raves, parties, and night clubs. Depending on the drug or combination of drugs consumed, users would experience either an increase in energy that would allow them to dance longer, decreased inhibition, and a variety of other sensory effects related to how individuals perceived the loud music and lights at these events.
Most people are familiar with drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, and hallucinogens like LSD. These drugs have been popular among those who participate in the club culture for some years now. However, some of the other drugs might be less familiar to many and could pose an even greater risk. GHB and Rohypnol have become incredibly popular as club drugs despite the high risk involved with their use.
They amplify the effects of alcohol and other drugs, making an individual feel much more intoxicated than they would be.
However, both of these substances are sedatives and are known to prevent individuals from remembering events that occurred while under the influence.
Worst of all, they tend to be odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making them commonly used by perpetrators of sexual assaults. Ketamine—more commonly known by the name Special K—is a powerful anesthetic used in veterinary medicine and, when snorted or injected intramuscularly, causes dissociative effects much like those of the drug PCP.
Users who abuse ketamine typically enjoy the bizarre visual and auditory distortions it causes while inducing a dream-like, delirious state.
Why Club Drugs Are Incredibly Dangerous
There are many reasons why club drugs are incredibly dangerous. Being most popular among adolescents, teens, and young adults, and in the LGBTQ+ scene, club drugs are typically consumed in layers with users often consuming multiple different drugs at a single event. As such, the drugs can often cause conflicting effects that can be very dangerous for users.
What’s more, in the event that an individual was to overdose while in a club or rave, it’s possible that the situation could go unnoticed by others in attendance since most others are under the influence of drugs as well, and oblivious to what’s happening around them. It’s also common for individuals to provide or be given club drugs while they’re at a particular event.
The chaos these kinds of events incur make it almost impossible to determine what club drug has been given. It’s also dangerous to dose in such circumstances as it’s difficult to determine exactly how much an individual is consuming in a given dose which can make it very easy to overdose.
If you or someone you love is addicted to club drugs or has become physically dependent on any substance of abuse, Pathway to Hope can help people find relief from physical dependency. Our caring recovery specialists are available to help those in need find the right program to rehabilitate and become healthy, sober, and fulfilled once again.