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Club Drugs Can Be Extremely Deadly

By Staff | Dec 22, 2009

(Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series explaining commonly used drugs, their side effects, and dangers.)

The third and final part of the drug series involves detailed information on a group of drugs categorized as club drugs.

It’s especially important to understand these drugs and make young adults aware of them because, although this final column is significantly shorter than its predecessors, the substances listed are among the most deadly.

This is particularly true because often times these drugs are taken without a person’s knowledge. Club drugs tend to be used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. College-aged persons are at a very high risk of being exposed knowingly or unknowingly to these substances, as they can be administered invisibly through food and, more commonly, drinks. Club drugs include GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), Methamphetamine, LSD (Acid), and others. Although under the same category, these substances can produce a variety of differing effects and pose serious harm to users, especially to unsuspecting victims.

Ketamine distorts perception and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self, while GHB and rohypnol are sedating. GHB abuse can cause coma and seizures. High doses of ketamine can cause delirium and amnesia. Rohypnol can incapacitate users and cause amnesia and, especially when mixed with alcohol, can be lethal.

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a synthetic drug that has stimulant and psychoactive properties. It is taken orally as a capsule or tablet. Its street names include XTC, X, Adam, hug, beans, and love drug.

Short-term effects include feelings of mental stimulation, emotional warmth, enhanced sensory perception, and increased physical energy. Adverse health effects can include nausea, chills, sweating, teeth clenching, muscle cramping, and blurred vision. MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature; on rare occasions, this can be lethal.

Ecstasy is highly psychologically addicting and the most common withdrawal of this addiction is depression. Those who overdose usually experience overheating, panic attacks, faintness, severe dehydration, and loss of consciousness. Ecstasy raises body temperature and makes the user restless to the point of literally overheating and cooking your organs. Signs to watch for are possession of glow sticks and Vicks Vapor Rub which intensify the high and baby pacifiers or lollipops that help with the uncontrollable urge to clench the jaw or grind teeth while under the drug.

All of the information about these various drugs is understandably overwhelming, but this knowledge is absolutely necessary for the prevention and caring of persons under these substances. For more information on drug abuse of this kind, visit www.nida.nih.gov/index.html or talk to a health care professional. There are also drug abuse hotlines available: National Drug Abuse Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357), National Institute on Drug Abuse & Alcoholism at 1-888-644-6432, Drug Help National Helplines at 1-800-378-4435, or Ecstasy Addiction at 1-800-468-6933.

The next meeting of the Citizens Against Prescrip-tion Drug Abuse will be held Jan. 11, 6 p.m., in the New Martinsville City Building.