It’s fun to go out with friends. It’s especially exciting when a whole group of friends go out and all of you are ready to hit the town. When you arrive at whatever club or bar you’ve chosen, the endorphins and adrenal are pumping and your ready to take the night on. You’re ready to let go of all the demands from friends, family, and teachers and let loose.
When you’re stepping out of the car, in your club attire, excitement is not only in the air; it’s in your blood. There are already so many endorphins pumping either out of excitement or out of nerves that your body is turned on. The nervous system doesn’t need any other stimulant or psychoactive drug to get it going. It doesn’t need to be turned on more than it already is.
Sure, if you’re nervous, if you’re feeling the social jitters, then there might be a desire to mask that with drugs. There’s a perceived need to take in a substance that will make you feel more social, acceptable, and feeling like you have a stronger sense of self. Perhaps for this reason and others, the prevalence of teen club drugs is rampant and remains to be a frequent danger for adolescents.
There is a specific collection of drugs that fall under the umbrella term Club Drugs. They include LSD (also known as acid), Methamphetamine (meth), MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, and Ketamine. They are often passed around at parties, clubs, and bars, which is where the term derives its name. Each of these drugs are dangerous and pose a significant threat to the body. In addition to that, there is the obvious danger of being vulnerable to certain risks when under the influence of psychoactive stimulants.
The following describes each of these drugs and indicates the types of dangers that come with them.
LSD: Although common in the 60’s, this drug is still widely used among teenagers. It is a hallucinogen, meaning that it causes hallucinations. This drug obviously affects sensory perception and mood. However, its effects once ingested vary upon the amount taken, the environment, and the teen’s personality, mood, and expectations. LSD is typically taken by mouth by swallowing a tablet, capsule, liquid, or a blotter paper absorbed with the drug. Its effects include swinging emotions, delusions, hallucinations, and sensations that seem to blend, such as hearing colors or seeing sounds. Although this drug is not considered to be addictive, it is seen as dangerous because of its severe effects on emotions, senses, perception and mental stability.
Methamphetamine (Meth): This drug is a very toxic and addictive substance that can cause severe damage to the brain and central nervous system. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested orally. The high that meth produces includes excited speech, decreased appetite, increased physical activity, and elevated levels of energy. Consequences of meth use include memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, and agitation. Meth can also cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain which can lead to strokes. These are only some of the severe health consequences associated with this drug.
MDMA: Also known as Ecstasy, this drug is usually taken orally, in tablet or capsule form, and its effects last 3-6 hours. They are commonly found in clubs, allowing a user to dance for extended periods of time. The drug produces a significant increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and alertness. However, its consequences, such as confusion, depression, sleep disturbance, and anxiety can continued to be experienced even weeks after using the drug. MDMA can be extremely dangerous in high doses.
GHB: Although frequently abused, this drug is actually used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder which causes frequent sleepiness and daytime sleep attacks. It is a depressant that has the positive effects of tranquility, increased sexual drive, and euphoria. Yet, its negative effects on users include nausea, sweating, hallucinations, amnesia; and it can even induce coma. GHB is also known as the “date rape” drug because of its sedative effects and the inability of a user to resist sexual assault.
Ketamine: This is an anesthetic that leads to experiences of dissociation. That is, it produces feelings of distorted perception, detachment from the environment, and a detachment from oneself. Its effects are similar to those of PCP. At a low dose, effects are impaired attention, the development of a learning disability, and memory loss. Higher doses cause dreamlike states, hallucinations, delirium, and amnesia.
Clearly, these drugs are dangerous. Although it’s easy to think that since you’re out on the town, anything goes. It’s time to get wild and let everything go. That’s true and it’s important to have time for that! But you can do that with a decision to do so; you don’t need drugs to let go. The risks that teen club drugs pose are far too great.