Often found at clubs, raves, and parties, club drugs can be tempting for teens as they offer the promise of increased energy and an altered mood. Individuals attending parties might take drugs offered by their friends or even by strangers in the crowd. While all illicit substances can be dangerous, club drugs have the potential to be especially harmful as teens could unintentionally take more than intended or mix drugs without knowing what will happen. The most dangerous club drugs include ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine, GHB, and LSD.
Be proactive and help teens stay safe when you learn more about the most popular club drugs.
What Are Club Drugs?
Club drugs are a category of drugs that are often found at parties, concerts, and raves. These are also often called designer drugs because they’re typically manufactured rather than naturally occurring — like marijuana.
Club drugs can be dangerous because there is typically no way to tell how potent the dose, where the drug came from, or what other substances might be mixed in.
The Most Dangerous Club Drugs
Club drugs can take many forms. They might be inhaled, smoked, or taken internally as pills or tablets. Partygoers might take a handful of pills indiscriminately, which can lead to overdose, permanent damage, or other life-threatening scenarios. Below are the five most popular club drugs and their effects.
Typically taken in tablet or capsule form, ecstasy can cause hallucinogenic effects. This stimulant may also increase energy and make partygoers want to dance for hours on end. Ecstasy’s effects can last from one to six hours. Negative side effects of this drug include dehydration and high blood pressure.
Ketamine, also referred to as Special K, is an artificial substance that causes out-of-body sensations. This substance is typically inhaled, although it can also be injected. Feelings of confusion and nightmares can occur even a full day after someone uses this substance. It’s also possible to overdose on ketamine with symptoms that include vomiting and brain-body dissociation.
This stimulant is usually inhaled and can be used to produce an intense high. This high fades relatively quickly, however, and the resulting crash can cause feelings of depression. Cocaine can be very dangerous, as it’s often cut with other substances that are even more damaging to the brain and body.
Also known as a date-rape drug, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) causes feelings of drowsiness and forgetfulness. In addition to euphoria and increased sex drive, GHB may also result in loss of consciousness, hallucinations, nausea, amnesia, and in severe cases, coma.
GHB is one of the most dangerous club drugs, even for teens who don’t use substances, because it can easily be slipped into a drink without anyone noticing. Talking to your teen about these effects can help them maintain situational awareness when they’re out with friends.
While LSD is common at raves or large venues, it’s less popular in clubs. Teens usually take it as a dissolvable tab. It can cause hallucinations and make people feel a creative high. Unfortunately, users may develop a tolerance to LSD and need larger doses to feel the same effects. Inexact dosing due to a high tolerance makes overdosing much more likely.
Treatment for Substance Abuse at Ascend
Ascend Healthcare offers substance use treatment for teens at our Empress facility in California. There, they can explore the underlying causes of their substance abuse and learn coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety in a supportive, secure environment. From individual and family therapy to academic programs, we tailor our comprehensive treatment plans to meet each teen’s needs.
Don’t let the most dangerous club drugs impact your teen’s future. Reach out to Ascend Healthcare today at 310.388.3713 to learn more about our teen treatment programs.