Dangers of Club Drugs

There is a diverse group of drugs that have come to be known as “club drugs” because they are linked to club culture among young adults.

While there are many young adults who willingly take these drugs, club drugs can also be added to people’s beverages without them realizing it. The act of being maliciously drugged by another is a reasonable fear of many who attend bars and clubs, and one should always take reasonable precautions when drinking in a public setting.

The term “club drugs” is relatively vague and does not describe drugs that are necessarily chemically similar. Instead, it refers to the types of drugs that young people use in certain kinds of party settings like raves and music festivals.

Using these types of drugs is often associated with potentially serious health consequences. For this reason, it’s important to understand what these drugs are and why you should avoid them.

What Are Club Drugs?

Club drugs are a specific group of psychoactive substances. These drugs impact the central nervous system. For this reason, using these drugs can lead to changes in behavior, awareness, and mood.

The most common demographic that uses this kind of drug are young adults attending concerts, bars, parties, and nightclubs. There are nicknames for different club drugs that change over time and can have geographically specific slang to describe them.

(Interested in learning more about drug culture among young adults? Check out this article about the culture of drug abuse in American colleges.)

dangers of club drugs

What Are the Different Types of Club Drugs?

Some club drugs are medications that are approved for certain medical uses while others are illicit in pretty much all circumstances.

Some of the most common types of club drugs include:

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most common types of club drugs.

MDMA (Molly)

MDMA was initially developed and patented all the way back in the early 1900s. It is chemically similar to the hallucinogen mescaline and the stimulant amphetamine. Both psychedelic and stimulant effects can be produced by taking MDMA.

This is a drug that is taken orally, typically in the form of a capsule or a tablet. The effects of this drug usually last for 3 to 6 hours. However, additional effects such as depression, confusion, anxiety, sleep problems, and paranoia can continue occurring for as long as weeks after taking the drug.

An individual’s blood pressure and heart rate can increase significantly when they take MDMA. The drug also causes a feeling of alertness that is similar to the feeling associated with amphetamine use.

This is a popular club just because the stimulant effects make it possible to dance for extended periods of time. However, this can lead to hypertension, dehydration, and kidney or heart failure.

In high doses, MDMA can be extremely dangerous. It can make an individual’s body temperature increase, leading to failure of the cardiovascular system and kidneys as well as muscle breakdown. Heart attacks, strokes, and seizures can occur in some instances when an individual uses MDMA.

Researchers have found that MDMA is a neurotoxin that can produce long-lasting damage to the neurons that release serotonin.

LSD (Acid)

LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that produces an abnormal experience of sensory perception. Depending on how much an individual takes, the effects of LSD can vary widely. How an individual experiences LSD can also have to do with their expectations, mood, personality, and the surroundings in which the drug is being used.

LSD is most commonly taken by mouth. It is sold illegally and capsule, tablet, and liquid forms as well as on pieces of paper known as “blotter paper.” The effects of this drug are typically felt within 30 to 90 minutes after ingesting it.

This drug can create physical effects including:

There are two different long-term disorders that are associated with this hallucinogenic drug. They are known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (“flashbacks”) and persistent psychosis.

Rohypnol (Roofies)

If you have never heard of Rohypnol, you might know it by is more common street name “Roofies.” Rohypnol is actually the brand name of a particular sleeping pill, the generic medicine is known as flunitrazepam. This drug is prescribed in South America, Mexico, Asia, and Europe for insomnia.

The US Food and Job Administration has not approved the use of this medication. However, that doesn’t mean that it is not available illicitly. Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine, which is a family of medication that also includes Xanax, Valium, and Librium.

You may have also heard Rohypnol referred to as the “date rape drug.” This is because this is one of the most recent drugs that has been abused by combining it with alcohol. In combination with alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, or other drugs, Rohypnol can create a dramatic and rapid “high.”

Even if someone takes Rohypnol on its own, it can create effects that are very much like being intoxicated.

Rohypnol is a particularly terrifying club drug because there have been reports of people adding Rohypnol to other people’s drinks in bars, clubs, or other party atmospheres. One of the street name for this drug is the “forget me pill,” which refers to the ability of Rohypnol to cause profound “anterograde amnesia.” This means that someone who has been given the drug unknowingly might wake up in a strange place with absolutely no recollection of what happened the night before.


GHB is a drug that depresses the central nervous system. The FDA has approved this drug for use in treating narcolepsy. However, this drug is also abused in club settings in a way that is similar to Rohypnol.

(Check out our guide to preventing substance abuse among today’s youth.)

Ketamine (Special-K)

Another common club jug is ketamine. This has been approved in medical settings for both human and animal use since 1970. Almost all of the ketamine that is sold legally is intended for use in animals.

Abusing ketamine became more popular in the 1980s. At this time, people realize that taking large doses could create similar effects to those that are associated with PCP. In large doses, the drug can create hallucinations and dreamlike states.

This drug comes in powder form or in liquid form. The powder form is often smoked with tobacco or cannabis products or snorted. Some people even inject ketamine intramuscularly.

When a person takes ketamine at higher doses, it can cause:

When an individual takes a low dose of Ketamine, I can result in impaired memory, attention, and learning ability.


Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that has an impact on many different areas of the central nervous system. This drug is typically made in illegal laboratories using over-the-counter ingredients that are relatively cheap. In many regions of the country, diverse groups of people use this drug, including young adults attending concerts, raves, and other party environments.

This drug is available in many different forms. It can be snorted, smoked, orally ingested, or injected. Methamphetamine is a better tasting, odorless, white crystalline powder that dissolves easily in liquids.

The distribution of methamphetamine is different than that of many other illegal drugs. Rather than being sold on the street, this drug is usually sold through networks.

There are a number of serious health consequences associated with methamphetamine use.

Health consequences of meth can include:

A person who abuses methamphetamine will often display signs of excited speech, agitation, increase physical activity levels, and decreased appetite. This is a neurotoxic drug that can significantly reduce dopamine transporters in the brains of abusers.

Research has found that methamphetamine use can contribute to higher transmission rates of some infectious diseases, primarily HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

Addiction Recovery From Club Drugs Is Possible

Just because people might take club drugs flippantly does not mean that they aren’t dangerous substances. If you have developed an addiction to club drugs, you should know that help is available.

At Safe and Sound Treatment, we are here to help you recover from your addiction and achieve long-term sobriety. We help our clients learn practical life skills and obtain real-world solutions to help them have the greatest success in their lives.

It is our philosophy that the whole person should be treated when it comes to addiction. We understand that there are often underlying causes of addiction and co-occurring conditions that also need to be identified and addressed.

Is it time for you to get your life back? If so, contact us today.


  1. Boston University. (n.d.). Club Drugs. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://www.bu.edu/police/crime-prevention/drugs/
  2. Gahlinger PM. Club drugs: MDMA, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol, and ketamine. Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jun 1;69(11):2619-26. PMID: 15202696.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, August 20). Commonly Used Drugs Charts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/commonly-used-drugs-charts