Club drugs are attractive to today’s youth because they are inexpensive and produce increased stamina and intoxicating highs. Because many of these drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be secretly added to beverages by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others.
The most widely used club drugs are:
• Ecstasy. Also known as MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), Ecstasy is a stimulant that combines the effects of Drug they have taken. Methamphetamine is the most commonly abused.">Amphetamines and hallucinogens.
• Rohypnol. Known as the “date rape drug,” Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant that produces sedative-hypnotic effects, muscle relaxation, and amnesia.
• Ketamine. A rapid-acting general anesthetic, ketamine produces a wide range of feelings, from weightlessness to out-of-body or near-death experiences.
• GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate). Originally available over the counter in health food stores to aid body builders, GHB and other synthetic Steroids are also used for their euphoric effects.
• LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide). This hallucinogen produces unpredictable effects, depending on the amount taken, the surroundings in which the Drug is used, and the user’s personality, mood, and expectations.
Research has shown that club drugs can have long-lasting negative effects on the brain, especially on memory function and motor skills. When club drugs are combined with alcohol, the effect is intensified, and they become even more dangerous and potentially fatal.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Prevention Alert: Club Drugs: A New Community Threat (Volume 3, Number 24 ed.) Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), emergency department (ED) visits attributable to club drugs are relatively rare. ED visits for some, but not all, club drugs increased significantly from 1994 to 1999.
• Among the club drugs discussed in this report, Methamphetamine accounts for the largest share of DAWN ED mentions and is most frequent in metropolitan areas in the western U.S.
• LSD is the next most common in ED mentions, followed by GHB, MDMA (Ecstasy), Rohypnol, and Ketamine.
• ED episodes involving club drugs usually involve multiple substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, and other club drugs. Alcohol is a particularly common factor in these ED episodes.
• ED episodes related to GHB, Ketamine, and MDMA increased significantly from 1994 to 1999, and GHB and MDMA mentions increased dramatically from 1997 to 1999.
• An apparent increase in Rohypnol mentions was not statistically significant. That is, the variability in Rohypnol estimates from 1994 to 1999 is likely due to random fluctuation.
• Young people are disproportionately represented in ED visits involving club drugs.
Deaths associated with club drugs other than Methamphetamine are quite rare in DAWN data.
• Cumulatively, 2601 deaths associated with Methamphetamine abuse, 46 deaths associated with Ketamine and 27 with MDMA were reported by participating medical examiners over the 5-year period from 1994 to 1998.
• There were no notable increases in deaths involving club drugs from 1994 to 1998.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. DAWN Report: Club Drugs (PHD856)Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.