Club Drugs

What are club drugs?
Club drugs are typically used by teenagers and young adults at bars, clubs, concerts, and parties. The most common club drugs include Ecstasy (MDMA), GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, methamphetamine, and acid (LSD). Ecstasy, a stimulant, is a synthetic drug with amphetamine- like and hallucinogenic properties. GHB (a sedative) and Rohypnol (a central nervous system depressant) along with ketamine (an anesthetic that can cause dream-like states and hallucinations) are also referred to as a “date-rape” drug.


Slang or Street Names: Molly, XTC, X, Adam, Clarity, Lover’s Speed

What is it? Ecstasy is chemically similar to the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline and can produce both stimulant and mild sensory-altering effects.

How is it used? Ecstasy can be taken orally in tablet or capsule form and lasts for approximately 3 to 6 hours, though depression, sleep problems, and anxiety have been reported for days to weeks afterwards. A powdered form has come into more common use.

How does it effect the user? Ecstasy produces a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure and a sense of alertness similar to that associated with amphetamine use. Users may experience a marked increase in body temperature (hyperthermia) which can lead to liver, kidney and cardiovascular system failure. Ecstasy users can become dehydrated, prompting increase water consumption which has lead to “water intoxication”, a potentially fatal condition in which excessive water consumption causes a dramatic decrease in electrolytes. Repeated and chronic use can produce long-lasting damage to the neurons that release serotonin and has also been associated with memory impairments.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

Slang or Street Names: Grievous Bodily Harm, G, Liquid Ecstasy, Georgia Home Boy, liquid ecstasy, soap, easy lay, and vita-G.

What is it? GHB is a Central nervous system depressant that is known for its euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (body building) effects.

How is it used? GHB is produced in a clear liquid, white powder, tablet, or capsule form, and is often used in combination with alcohol. GHB has been increasingly involved in poisonings, overdoses, dru

g-facilitated sexual assaults (“date-rapes”), and fatalities and is used predominantly by adolescents and young adults while attending nightclubs and raves.

How does it effect the user? GHB is usually abused either for its intoxicating,sedating, euphoria-inducing properties or for its growth hormone-releasing effects. The effects of GHB begin 10 to 20 minutes after the drug is taken and typically last for up to 4 hours. Higher doses of GHB may result in sleep, coma, or death. Combining GHB with other drugs, such as alcohol, can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating.


Slang or Street Names: Special K, K, Vitamin K, Cat Valium

What is it? Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been approved for both human and animal use in medical settings. About 90% of the ketamine sold legally today is intended for veterinary use.

How is it used? Ketamine can be produced in liquid form for injection or white powder form that is often snorted or smoked with marijuana or tobacco.

How does it effect the user? Certain doses of ketamine can cause dream-like states and hallucinations. Low-doses can result in impaired: attention, learning ability, and memory. At higher doses, ketamine can cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory.


Slang or Street Names: Roofies, Rophies, Roche, Roach, Rope, Forget-me pill

What is it? Rohypnol, a trade name for flunitrazepam; it belongs to a class of drugs which include Valium, Halcion, Xanax, and Versed. It is not approved for prescription use in the United States, although it is used in many countries as a treatment for insomnia or as a presurgery anesthetic.

How is it used? Rohypnol is usually taken orally, although there are reports that it can be ground up and snorted. Rohypnol is tasteless and odorless, and dissolves easily in carbonated beverages and its effects are aggravated by concurrent use of alcohol. A dose of Rohypnol as small as 1 mg can impair a user for 8 to 12 hours.

How does it effect the user? Rohypnol can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. It can produce “anterograde amnesia” which means individuals may not remember events they experienced while under the effects of the drug. Other adverse effects associated with Rohypnol include decreased blood pressure, drowsiness, visual disturbances, dizziness, confusion, gastrointestinal disturbances, and urinary retention. Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.


Slang or Street Names: Acid, Boomers, Yellow Sunshines

What is it? LSD is a hallucinogen, inducing abnormalities in sensory perceptions.

How is it used? LSD is typically taken by mouth. It is sold in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms, as well as on pieces of blotter paper that have absorbed the drug. Children should not take stickers or colored paper from unknown subjects or pick up those found in uncontrolled environments due to possible LSD contamination.

How does it effect the user? Typically a LSD user feels the effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Users frequently report numbness, weakness, trembling, and nausea.


Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)