Alcohol and tobacco are still the most commonly
used drugs in nightclub settings. However, other drugs or "Club Drugs"
use have increase over the past two years. These include drugs of
Ecstasy (MDA, MDMA), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), Gammahydroxybutyrate
(GHB), Ketamine, and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). These drugs are
not only popular in parties, nightclubs, events, etc. among various
types of people including teenagers, college students, and others but
also these drugs have seen its use as a "date rape" drug. The following
are description on some of the most common "Club Drugs" that are
consumed in high quantities today. SERUM AND URINE ONLY SPECIMENS
Ecstasy or MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
is a stimulant that combines the properties of methamphetamine or
"speed" with mind-altering or hallucinogenic properties. Considered the
most commonly used designer drug, Ecstasy is a close derivative of
methamphetamine and can be described as a hallucinogenic stimulant.
Designer drugs are illicit variations of other drugs. Because of many
different recipes used to manufacture Ecstasy, deaths have been caused
by some other substances inadvertently created during production, such
as PMA (paramethamphetamine). Ecstasy is illegal, and is classified as a
Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Known on the street as Adam, X-TC,
Clarity, Essence, Stacy, Loverís Speed, Eve, etc., Ecstasy is most often
found in tablet, capsule, or powder form and is usually consumed orally,
although it can also be injected. Ecstasy is sometimes packaged in
capsules or generic tablets to imitate prescription drugs with the
average dose costing anywhere from $7 to $30 per pill. Ecstasy can be
combined with methadone, LSD, opiates such as heroin or Fentanyl, or
strong anesthetics such as Ketamine.
An Ecstasy high can last from six to 24 hours, with
the average "trip" lasting only about three to four hours. At moderate
doses, Ecstasy is reported to cause euphoria, feelings of well-being,
enhanced mental or emotional clarity, anxiety, or paranoia. Heavier
doses can cause hallucinations, sensations of lightness and floating,
depression, paranoid thinking, and violent, irrational behavior.
Physical reactions can include the following symptoms: loss of appetite,
nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, increased heart rate and blood
pressure, muscle tension, faintness, chills, sweating, tremors, reduced
appetite, insomnia, convulsions, and a loss of control over voluntary
body movements. Some reactions have been reported to persist from one to
14 days after taking Ecstasy. Individuals who are pregnant, have a heart
condition, are epileptic, or have high blood pressure are at high risk
of adverse reactions. In addition, users are at particular risk of heat
exhaustion and dehydration with physical exertion, particularly when
Ecstasy is taken in a dance-party setting. Deaths have occurred
because users donít drink enough water and become overheated.
The Safeness of Herbal Ecstasy as a natural alternative?
No. Although not currently classified as a controlled substance,
Herbal Ecstasy is a drug composed of ephedrine (ma huang) or
pseudoephedri ne and caffeine (kola nut), stimulants that closely
simulate the effects of Ecstasy. Sold in tablet form, Herbal Ecstasy is
known as Cloud 9, Herbal Bliss, Ritual Spirit, Herbal X, GWM, Rave
Energy, Ultimate Xphoria, and X.
There is no quality control over the manufacture of
these products, and problems arise because the amounts of ephedrine and
caffeine in the pills vary widely. Over 800 reports of adverse reactions
such as high blood pressure, seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and death
have been reported to federal authorities. Because of these reactions,
the Food and Drug Adminis-tration (FDA) is considering placing
restrictions on the drug.
Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) is a strong sedative which
is manufactured and distributed by Hoffman-La Roche. A member of the
benzodiazepine family which includes drugs such as Librium, Xanax, and
Valium, Rohypnol is about ten times the strength of Valium. Typically,
Rohypnol is smuggled into Texas from the Mexican pharmacias; supplies in
Florida come from Latin America. Street prices in Texas range from $1 to
$5 per pill. Slang terms for Rohypnol include Roach, Roche (ro-shay),
Roofies, Run-Trip-and-Fall, R-2, Mexican Valium, Ropynol, Rib, and Rope.
In Texas, to be under the influence of Rohypnol is "to get roached."
Uses of Rohypnol
Rohypnol is manufactured as small, white tablets with
"Roche" inscribed on one side with an encircled "1" or "2" indicating a
1 mg or 2 mg dose. These tablet markings are commonly found on other
Roche pharmaceuticals, and a pattern of abusing any drug made by Roche
(Valium, Klonopin/Clonopin, Rivotril) has also developed. Rohypnol is
usually taken orally, although there are reports that it has been ground
up and snorted. Rohypnol is illegal in the United States, and it can
draw significant penalties for the possession and sale of the drug.
Effects of Rohypnol
After taking Rohypnol, the user may feel intoxicated,
then sleepy - a feeling that may last up to eight hours. Users under the
influence may exhibit slurred speech, impaired judgment, and difficulty
walking. Rohypnol can cause deep sedation, respiratory distress,
blackouts that can last up to 24 hours, and amnesia where users forget
events experienced while under the influence. In some cases, the drug
has paradoxical effects and causes users to become aggressive. The
potential for overdose or death can occur, especially when mixed with
other drugs like alcohol.
GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) was once sold in health
food stores as a performance enhancing additive to body builder
formulas. Although rumored that GHB stimulates muscle growth, this claim
has never been proven. GHB is a central nervous system depressant that
is abused for its intoxicating effects. In 1990, the FDA banned the used
of GHB except under the supervision of a physician because of many
reports of severe, uncontrollable side effects.
Slang terms for GHB include
Grievous Bodily Harm, Easy Lay, Gook, Gamma 10, Liquid X, Liquid E,
Liquid G, Georgia Home Boy, Soap, Scoop, Salty Water, Somatomax, G-riffick,
Cherry Meth, Fantasy, Organic Quaalude, Natureís Quaalude, and Zonked.
GHB is consumed orally in capsule form or as a
grainy, white to sandy-colored powder. Powdered GHB is often dissolved
in liquids like water or alcoholic beverages and then consumed. However,
it is most frequently sold as a slightly salty, clear liquid in small
bottles where users pay by the capful or by the teaspoon. Most GHB is
created in clandestine laboratories where purity and quality cannot be
guaranteed. Often substituted for Ecstasy, another club drug, a capful
may cost the user $3 to $5 per dose. GHB is also used as a sedative to
come down off stimulants like ephedrine, Ecstasy, speed, or cocaine.
GHB produces intoxication followed by deep sedation.
Once ingested, the drug will begin to take effect in 15 minutes to an
hour, lasting one to three hours. GHB can cause nausea, vomiting,
delusions, depression, vertigo, visual disturbances, seizures,
respiratory distress, loss of consciousness, amnesia, and coma. When
combined with alcohol and other drugs, the potential for deadly
overdoses escalates rapidly. Numerous overdoses in Texas and nationwide
have required emergency room treatment and mechanical assistance to
Ketamine (Special K)
Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride)
is primarily used in veterinary medicine, and its use as a surgical
anesthetic in humans is limited. Most supplies found on the street are
diverted from legitimate sources. On the club scene, Ketamine can be
found in liquid form or as a white powder that is snorted or smoked with
marijuana or tobacco products. A combination of Ketamine and cocaine is
called "CK." Other slang terms are Special K, Vitamin K, New Ecstasy,
Psychedelic Heroin, Ketalar, Ketaject, and Super-K.
Users experience profound hallucinations and visual
distortions similar to the effects of PCP. They call these effects
"K-Land." A larger dose can produce a more frightening experience called
a "K-hole" or an "out-of-body, near-death experience." They may also
experience a loss of senses, sense of time, and identity which can last
anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Ketamine can cause delirium,
amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression,
recurrent flashbacks, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a potent
hallucinogen derived from lysergic acid. Lysergic acid can be found on
ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. Commonly referred to
as "acid" on the club scene, a "hit" or dose can be found as tablets,
capsules, liquid form, thin squares of gelatin, or absorbed on colorful
paper to be licked. Although colorless and odorless, LSD has a slight
bitter taste. "Blotter acid," which is absorbent paper soaked in LSD and
sold as squares, can be obtained for $4 to $5 for a "high" or "trip"
that lasts three to 12 hours. Other slang terms for LSD include
Microdot, White Lightning, Blue Heaven, Windowpane, and Sugar Cubes. LSD
is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance with severe penalties for
possession and use.
The effects of LSD are wildly
unpredictable depending on a variety of factors. The user will begin to
feel the effects within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion and the "high" may
last up to 12 hours. Users under the influence will have dilated pupils,
increased body temperature, increased heart and blood pressure rates,
loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, tremors, and increased
perspiration. A "bad trip" could include terrifying thoughts and
feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and
flashbacks after the fact. Moreover, LSD may reveal long lasting
psychological problems, including schizophrenia and severe depression.
Chronic users can develop a tolerance to LSD, meaning they must take
more of the drug to feel the same effects.
How are people usually introduced to Club Drugs?
Many young people are introduced to club drugs on the
night club or rave scene by their peers. People often try drugs like
Ecstasy, Herbal Ecstasy, Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine, and LSD because their
friends are using them, and they think that drugs are safe to use.
Are adolescents and young adults at risk?
One major concern about these club drugs is their
widespread use among high school youths, college students, and young
adults who frequent night clubs and all-night rave parties. Lured by the
availability and intoxicating effects of these drugs, many youths are
unaware of the dangers. Rohypnol and GHB, in particular, can cause
blackouts and amnesia which place individuals under the influence at
risk of sexual assault or other criminal acts. In addition, when young
people start using drugs regularly, they often lose interest in school
work, which affects academic success as well. Chronic drug use can place
students and young adults at risk of dropping out of school or college,
loss of employment, and possible encounters with law enforcement.
Club Drugs Continued