The term 'club drugs' refers to a wide variety of psychoactive drugs mostly abused by teenagers and young adults, often at raves or trances (all-night dance parties), dance clubs and nightclubs. Some wrong perceptions among teens are encouraging teens to get into club drug addiction. Many teenagers think that "abusing club drugs is common and everybody is doing it". The truth is contradictory to what they think. Majority of teens are not using club drugs. In fact, a vast majority of teens have never even tried club drugs. There are different types of club drugs.
Club drugs and types Different types of club drugs used in rave parties, dance clubs and bars are: • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or Ecstasy – stimulant and psychoactive • Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) – central nervous system (CNS) depressant • Ketamine - dissociative anesthetic • Rohypnol - strong hypnotic and powerful sedative • Methamphetamine - very addictive stimulant • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) - hallucinogen
Harmful effects of club drugs It is a strong myth among the youngsters that club drugs are not harmful, but no club drug is benign and infact they have severe negative effects on the health. As per NIDA, club drugs abuse can cause serious health issues. There are many harmful effects pertaining to club drug abuse. They are:
Memory loss MDMA (Ecstasy) harms the neurons which release Serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating memory. Significant number of Ecstasy abusers have impaired memory. The ketamine abusers also develop short-term memory impairment on prolonged abuse. Apart from memory loss, club drugs impair senses, judgment and coordination damaging the neurons in the brain.
Hepatitis Club drugs have harmful effects on liver by disturbing the metabolism. Club drug abusers, generally, suffer from chemical hepatitis which is inflammation of the liver. This leads to Jaundice. Hepatitis may spread among people abusing club drugs intravenously.
Damage to nerve endings Almost, all drugs have some or the other type of impact on the nerve cells. Ecstasy blocks the neurotransmitter, Serotonin, in nerve endings leading to the damage of nerve endings.
Behavioral problems Club drugs generally have long-lasting negative effects on the brain that can alter teens behavior. They will have issues with mood swings, high euphoria or severe depression, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, sadness, aggression, sleep disturbances, decrease in appetite, sudden fears, high confusion, loss of control over body movements, tendencies to injure themselves or others.
Crime and violence After getting addicted to drugs, teenagers can go to any extent of crime to get them. Teenagers abusing drugs become violent and they get into fights. Club drug addicts are more likely to become victims of criminals who seek to rob them of their money, and assault or rape them as their brains will be flooded with fuzzy pleasure chemicals.
Other adverse effects Several adverse effects are associated with club drugs. The club drug abuse has irreversible effects on brain and general health. Insomnia, coma, seizures are the most common adverse effects. Teenagers taking club drugs have lack of interest to sleep which slowly leads to insomnia. There are a lot of side effects with insomnia. They may develop diabetes, heart problems and there will also be a decline in cognitive functioning. GHB, being a sedative results in coma with persistent abuse. Abusing GHB leads to loss of consciousness (G-hole), tremors, irregular and depressed respiration and ultimately coma.
Even experimentation with club drugs will have unpredictable and dangerous impacts on health. Remember, club drugs are not fun drugs. Even first time use of club drugs can be fatal. Hence, it is important to avoid using club drugs and to live a healthy life.
By Nate Rodney MBA
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