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What Are Club Drugs and Why Are They Dangerous?


Going out to a club in the evening is a long-held tradition for teenagers and young people. Unfortunately, today, part of that clubbing scene also includes the use of club drugs. As a club-goer or a parent of a club-goer, it’s important that you learn as much as possible about these party drugs.

What Are Club Drugs and Who Uses Them

In the 1980s, raves became popular in England and the United States soon followed the fashion. A rave is an electronic dance party that’s usually held in a warehouse, or other large building that looks abandoned or neglected from the outside.

Raves are usually announced a few hours before they begin and the information about where and when they are being held travels through social media and word of mouth. These raves can last anywhere from 24 hours to three days.

Raves are like an attack on the senses. They involve loud, pulsating music, extreme strobe lighting, and often party drugs. The goal of using these drugs is to enhance the sensory overload and be able to stay awake, dancing, for the duration of the rave.

The popularity of raves has waned in recent years, due to police action and the emergence of the club scene. However, the drugs remain popular despite media reports of people dying at raves and clubs due to the use of these so-called designer drugs.

Why Club Drugs Are Dangerous

Technically, any drug that is taken in a club atmosphere could be called a club drug however, the term usually applies to a particular set of drugs. These are usually man-made, or chemical, cheap to purchase and readily available.

Added to the risks involved in taking these drugs is the conditions they are taken in. Often, they are consumed with alcohol which only adds to the risk of dehydration and overdose. Also, the dangers of taking drugs in clubs is increased due to the fact that many club drugs are laced with other substances.

There are other consequences that can occur from using club drugs, for both young women and men. Rohypnol and Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) have been used in many cases of sexual assault and are known as date-rape drugs.

In date-rape cases, the victim is usually unaware that these drugs have been slipped into their drugs. In some cases, they may believe they are taking something else.

Regardless of what type of drug a young person is taking in a club, there is always the risk of overdose, an allergic or toxic reaction, and severe dehydration.

Examples of Club Drugs

The following is a list of the most popular club drugs. There are many other dangerous drugs that are not listed here but, these are the ones that are the cheapest and easiest for young people to obtain.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), also known as Molly or Ecstasy, is a synthetic drug similar to stimulants and hallucinogens.

Ecstasy produces feelings of increased energy, emotional warmth and empathy, and pleasure. It also distorts sensory and time perception for the user which increases the effects of the music and lights in the club.

The effects of taking an Ecstasy table can last between 3 to 6 hours but man people take a second tablet as soon as they feel the effects of the first one wearing off.

Ecstasy is known to raise the body temperature of the user and in a club setting, where they’re likely to dance. And when surrounded by hundreds of other dancers, this can be fatal. A high temperature may lead to dehydration which increases your risk of liver, heart, or kidney failure.

Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

GHB is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. It’s used as a date-rape drug and is often put in people’s drinks without them noticing. It’s also known as Liquid X, Georgia home boy, Gamma-oh, or Grievous bodily harm.

GHB produces extreme sleepiness, often accompanied by memory loss, which is why it’s so popular among rapists. It’s also highly addictive and can result in extreme sedation, seizures, coma, severe respiratory problems, and death.


This is another drug used in date-rape cases. It’s a benzodiazepine which means it is ten times as strong as Xanax. It’s also known as roofies, rophies, robutal, lunch money drug, and forget me pill.

The effects of rohypnol can last up to 12 hours with the most extreme effects lasting for six. Withdrawal from this drug can be very unpleasant and symptoms can include tension, muscle pain, delirium, loss of identity, shock, and seizures.

Patients who have been prescribed rohypnol undergo a staggered withdrawal process because of its addictive qualities and dangerous side effects.


Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant also known as meth, crystal, ice, speed, and rocket fuel. It’s often prescribed for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is known to severely reduce appetite in users.

A methamphetamine high can last up to ten hours and the crash is also severe. Users will often sleep for 24 hours afterwards and will experience withdrawal symptoms such as paranoia, stomach cramps, teeth damage, and aggression. Extreme weight loss is also common.


Ketamine is also known as special K, cat valium, and kit kat. It’s used in veterinary care as an anesthetic. It was originally developed for human use but was discontinued due to its negative effects. These include delirium, confusion, irrational behavior, and hallucinations.

The hallucinatory effects of ketamine only last for an hour or so but distorted thinking can continue for much longer. Death from overdose is a risk for people using ketamine and flashbacks can also occur for some time after use.

Where to Get Help for Club Drugs Use

Las Encinas Hospital is an acute mental health psychiatric facility in Pasadena, CA that offers services for youth and adults affected by drug abuse and addiction. Residential and outreach programs are available and the Restore to Wellness Program is designed specifically for college students.

Contact our staff today to arrange an assessment or discuss your needs with our highly qualified and professional staff.