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What are club drugs, and what are the effects of club drugs?

Clubs drugs are popular among young adults and adolescents throughout the nation.  These drugs are commonly known as club drugs because they became popular within rave and night club culture.  These drugs have also been referred to as designer drugs because they are man-made and are not synthesized from a plant or natural product.  Club drugs became popular among rave culture because of all-night dance parties with loud music, flashing lights, and various other stimuli for the effects of the drugs to play off of.  These drugs became popular in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe in the 1980s and this popularity eventually shifted over to the United States. The drugs were unique to the rave experience and offered a barrage of stimulation.  Club drugs create a mind-altering experience and overload the senses.  

When club drugs became popular in the United States, the frequency of use rapidly increased.  For example, ecstasy became a popular club drug used within the rave scene, and close to 90% of rave attendees reported using the drug at least once.  Close to 50% of people who attended raves in the United States had reported using ecstasy at least once in a month. Current ecstasy users were also more likely than nonusers to have used marijuana and cocaine.  When club drugs became popular, they started to change the trend in recreational drug use among adolescents and young adults. New recreational drugs are frequently emerging, but club drugs were always made with cheap products and were also easily obtained.  

The frequency of use with club drugs not only became popular within the night club and rave scene but became popular in many different social settings, such as college parties.  Throughout the United States, many local colleges and universities saw increases in the use of ecstasy in the early 2000s. Since 2001 the rate of ecstasy use has declined, but it is still a popular club drug used by adolescents and young adults.  Many local hospitals in the United States saw increases with emergency room visits because of GHB and other types of sedative type drugs. Some of the drugs that are considered club drugs include GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and LSD.  

Today, club drugs are found at parties, bars, nightclubs, concerts, and many other types of social settings.  The drugs are still widely popular at places with extensive stimulation, such as raves and outdoor concerts or festivals.  Most of these drugs are illegal and cause serious illness, injury, and even death. Club drugs today are unpredictable, and many of these drugs have been found laced with fentanyl.  There are many different ingredients that the user thinks, and they are always at risk when using these drugs. Club drugs cause the user to feel open, aroused, and unafraid, while also slowing down the central nervous system and brain functions.  These drugs reduce the ability to physically and mentally react to the surroundings, leading to personal injury.

Club Drug Family Intervention and Addiction Rehabilitation

Noticing whether or not someone is abusing club drugs is not easy for anyone. Typically, these drugs are abused recreationally within social settings like a party, concert, or within the rave culture. However, there are signs and symptoms of addiction that parents can look for. Some of the common signs are secretiveness, lying, stealing, financially unpredictable, changes in social groups, repeated unexplained outings, and drug paraphernalia.

The common signs of addiction are tolerance, which is a need to engage in addictive behavior more and more. Club drug abuse does result in withdrawal symptoms and difficulty cutting down. The person becomes preoccupied with the addiction and spends a lot of time planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior. Typically, there are extreme mood changes, changes in energy, weight loss, or even weight gain.

Common club drugs include GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, MDMA, methamphetamine, and LSD. According to the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey, 3.6% of 12th grade students used LSD in the past year, and 2.2% used MDMA in the past year. Whether club drug abuse occurs among teens or adults, the problem becomes progressively worse without treatment. Early intervention is key, and this involves family or friends intervening to help their loved ones. The best way to organize a family intervention is by hiring a professional interventionist.

Professional intervention is a carefully planned process and involving a certified interventionist and the family. Family interventions benefit the family just as much as it is for the addict. Families have the opportunity to address the problems of enabling and co-dependency and put to be any old arguments. The rehabilitation process involves detox and inpatient or outpatient treatment. Typically, an addiction assessment is a good place to begin, and your interventionist can help locate suitable treatment options.

Club drug addiction does not usually cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, and a conventional detox is an effective approach. The detox process is necessary to manage the initial cravings and symptoms. Detox should not be considered the only treatment approach because it will not provide adequate counseling and therapy. The next phase of treatment should involve inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation. Residential treatment centers offer long-term and short-term options to help someone struggling with club drug addiction.

Additionally, it is a good option to have aftercare support available. Aftercare programs or support would involve peer support groups, outpatient treatment, or further counseling. The purpose of aftercare support is to help recovering addicts continue to work on their sobriety and learn more ways to maintain life-long sobriety.


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