Night clubs and raves are specifically designed to work hand in hand with popular club drugs but abuse of these drugs can be addictive, harmful or even fatal.
Night clubs and raves have become very big business in major cities and college towns across the US. Whereas raves used to be staged in empty warehouses or fields, now they may take up entire stadiums like the Los Angeles Coliseum. And nightclubs are increasingly designed to complement the effects of popular drugs used in these clubs.
The most popular club drug in the US is Ecstasy, about which the Drug Enforcement Administration says: “MDMA causes changes in perception, including euphoria and increased sensitivity to touch, energy, sensual and sexual arousal, need to be touched, and need for stimulation.”
Playing to these effects, shows at both raves and nightclubs feature thundering music and scantily clad women performing dance routines, Walls in a nightclub may be made of suede for tactical pleasure. Light shows cater to the changes in perception some of these drugs cause and light sticks may be handed out to the audience to keep the effect going.
At large rave venues, prominent booths offering cold water at premium prices compensate for the overheating effect that accompanies any formulas that contain stimulants, such as Ecstasy or methamphetamine. Dance clubs may have chilling rooms or zones where patrons can lower their temperatures. Smoke and fireworks are common additions to the shows.
“One could think the designers of these clubs are just designing interesting venues for their shows until you compare the features against the effects of drugs,” stated Erica Catton, Director of Admissions at Narconon Arrowhead, a non-profit drug rehabilitation center in Oklahoma. “These venues fully anticipate club drugs being sold and used every one of these venues. In fact, one rave promoter told me that the only reason he set up and promoted raves was to make money off the illicit drugs sales. This is not a safe area in which to be naïve.”
Common Club Drugs and Their Effects
MDMA also known as Ecstasy is a stimulant similar to an amphetamine that creates a sense of euphoria and desire to be touched or sexually aroused. It also changes perceptions of time, space and light. But many pills sold as Ecstasy may actually contain methamphetamine, ketamine, cocaine, caffeine or similar drugs that may only recently have been formulated.
Due to the tendency of the drug to create overheating, when people take Ecstasy and dance the night away without getting enough water or chilling down, they can and do suffer organ breakdown and death.
Piperazines: These are a fairly new addition to the club drug roster. These are similar drugs to Ecstasy, but can create a more intense effect. In this class are TFMPP, referred to as “Molly” and Benzylpiperazine, frequently called BZP. New drugs in this class that show up on the streets frequently, especially in the UK, faster than law enforcement can outlaw them. Just by changing the formula slightly, chemists can create a “new” drug that circumvents the law but still creates problems for some users.
BZP acts like an amphetamine, decreasing appetite and increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Like amphetamines, the person who takes these drugs can end up delusional or paranoid. As well as addicted.
GHB: This is the drug that many people refer to as “Grievous Bodily Harm.” It can depress the central nervous system, reducing anxiety and causing euphoria. But it can also cause serious confusion, hallucinations and mental impairment. Together with alcohol, the user risks unconsciousness or coma. And most people mix club drugs with other substances. GHB is often used as a date-rape drug.
Ketamine: This animal anesthetic causes feelings of dissociation and distortions of sight and sound. An overdose of ketamine can cause hallucinations, delirium and amnesia.
Rohypnol: This drug, illegal to manufacture or prescribe in the US, is sold in other countries as an anti-anxiety drug. It is sold across the counter in Mexico, leading many people to buy the drug there, then smuggle it into the US. This drug too is used as a date rape drug. Men may add it to a woman’s drink without her knowledge and then take her out of the club to have sex with her. She may not be able to resist the assault and may not remember it the next day. Rohypnol causes sedation and if taken with alcohol or opiates, can suppress the breathing reflex to the point of death. This drug is illegal in the US but is sold across the counter in Mexico.
Addictiveness of Drugs Keeps Some People Using them Despite Harm
One might think that a single bad experience with one of these drugs or seeing someone else have a bad time using these drugs would cause a person to stop using them. But these drugs are all addictive and may quickly cause severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
“Some people don’t stop using them after they have seen how harmful they are because they are addicted to them,” added Ms. Catton. “Different drugs have different withdrawal symptoms, but anxiety and severe depression are common to many. A person may find that they start using the drug again just to escape the depression that sets in after they quit. The Narconon Arrowhead drug rehabilitation program in Canadian, Oklahoma has helped hundreds of people quit using club drugs so they can start to lead a safer, sober life again.”
By Ajale from Pixabay