Across the country, teens and young adults
enjoy all-night dance parties known as "raves" and
increasinglyencounter more than just music. Dangerous substances known
collectively as club drugs-including Ecstasy, GHB, and Rohypnol-are gaining
popularity. These drugs aren't "fun drugs."
Although users may think these substances
are harmless, research has shown that club drugs can produce a range of unwanted
effects, including hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia, and, in some cases, death.
When used with alcohol, these drugs can be even more harmful. Some club drugs
work on the same brain mechanisms as alcohol and, therefore, can dangerously
boost the effects of both substances. Also, there are great differences among
individuals in how they react to these substances and no one can predict how he
or she will react. Some people have been known to have extreme, even fatal,
reactions the first time they use club drugs. And studies suggest club drugs
found in party settings are often adulterated or impure and thus even more
Because some club drugs are colorless,
tasteless, and odorless, they are easy for people to slip into drinks. Some of
these drugs have been associated with sexual assaults, and for that reason they
are referred to as "date rape drugs."
"Adam," and "MDMA" are slang names for Ecstasy,
which is a stimulant and a hallucinogen. Young people may use Ecstasy to
improve their moods or get energy to keep dancing; however, chronic abuse
of Ecstasy appears to damage the brain's ability to think and regulate
emotion, memory, sleep, and pain.
"Liquid Ecstasy," "Georgia Home Boy" or Gamma-hydroxybutyrate
(GHB) may be made in homes by using recipes with common
ingredients. At lower doses, GHB can relax the user, but, as the dose
increases, the sedative effects may result in sleep and eventual coma or
death. Often stored in water bottles and mouthwash bottles.
or "Roche" (Rohypnol) is tasteless and odorless. It mixes
easily in carbonated beverages. Rohypnol may cause individuals under the
influence of the drug to forget what happened. Other effects include low
blood pressure, drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and stomach upset.
K" or "K" (Ketamine) is an anesthetic. Use of a
small amount of ketamine results in loss of attention span, learning
ability, and memory. At higher doses, ketamine can cause delirium,
amnesia, high blood pressure, depression, and severe breathing problems.
"Chalk," "Meth" (Methamphetamine) is often made in
home laboratories. Methamphetamine use can cause serious health concerns,
including memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, and heart
or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) may cause unpredictable
behavior depending on the amount taken, where the drug is used, and on the
user's personality. A user might feel the following effects: numbness,
weakness, nausea, increased heart rate, sweating, lack of appetite,
"flashbacks," and sleeplessness.
"Raves" or all-night dance
parties continue to attract teens and young adults who may think Ecstasy,
GHB, Rohypnol, and other club drugs are harmless. This is not true. While
researchers continue to study club drugs with a sense of urgency,
treatment and prevention strategies are being developed. And the bottom
line is simple: even experimenting with club drugs is an unpredictable and
dangerous thing to do.
Ritalin is in pill or tablet form.
Many non-medical users crush the tablets and either snort the resulting
powder, or dissolve it in water and "cook" it for intravenous
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a
central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature
and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating
the brain stem arousal system and cortex. Pharmacologically, it works on
the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant
characteristics of cocaine. Short-term effects can include nervousness and
insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, palpitations,
headaches, changes in heart rate and blood pressure (usually elevation of
both, but occasionally depression), skin rashes and itching, abdominal
pain, weight loss, and digestive problems, toxic psychosis, psychotic
episodes, drug dependence syndrome, and severe depression upon withdrawal.
High doses of stimulants produce a
predictable set of symptoms that include loss of appetite (may cause
serious malnutrition), tremors and muscle twitching, fevers, convulsions,
and headaches (may be severe), irregular heartbeat and respirations (may
be profound and life threatening), anxiety, restlessness, paranoia,
hallucinations, and delusions, excessive repetition of movements and
meaningless tasks, and formicaton (sensation of bugs or worms crawling
under the skin).