Heroin’s a drug. Crack’s a drug. Meth’s a drug. People who do them live far away from us, and besides, couldn’t even get near the kinds of places we go to, much less into them. Besides, the drugs used in clubs aren’t really drug-drugs. They’re … party favors. They enhance the experience. No harm, no foul.
Wrong. Club drugs may have a lower profile than opiates, but they’re still drugs and are every bit as illegal and addictive as those done by the sort of people we don’t enjoy thinking about. Playing around with them sounds innocent, but it’s a terrible idea for a wide set of reasons, five of which are listed below.
- They’re still drugs. Call them party drugs, party favors or whatever, many of the substances used in clubs and at music festivals are still highly addictive. Cocaine, ice – yes, despite the name it’s still meth – and a lot of synthetic drugs are addictive and will take over your life. Going out should be fun, not a compulsion.
- Synthetic drugs are just a bad idea, period. “Legal highs,” more correctly known as “research chemicals,” are popular because their perceived legality makes them attractive to users worried about getting arrested for possession. Winks and nods about legality aside, these drugs have completely unpredictable effects on users, and they can even be lethal in small doses.
- You’re probably not taking what you think you’re taking. There’s no consumer protection organization governing club drugs. That tab of ecstasy or molly might not contain MDMA at all. Of the 143 drugs suspected of being molly the Drug Enforcement Agency tested between 2009 and 2013, only 13 percent contained MDMA. The rest either contained bath salts, or chemicals like 4-MEC still new to scientists. Here’s a list of what’s been found in various ecstasy pills.
- Just because it’s genuine doesn’t make it less harmful. Take ketamine for example … actually, don’t. Special K is a powerful anesthetic used on animals, and in large doses it can cause euphoria along with an out-of-body sensation called the “k-hole” on the street. Ketamine is also addictive, and it’s been used as a date-rape drug because of the effects it has on users. What’s also less known is a side effect to heavy ketamine use called ketamine cystitis. Also known as “K bladder,” long-term ketamine use damages the urinary system, causing bladder and kidney failure.
- Drugs aren’t the only danger. Many club drugs like GHB and Special K are capable of sedating users so completely they lose track of their surroundings and have no memory of what happened while under the drug’s effects. This leaves them vulnerable to robbery and assault. It sounds obvious to say but not everyone who sells drugs is a nice person, and there are also people who keep an eye out for targets like someone passed out on a couch.
Everyone enjoys feeling different from time to time, and humans have been trying to get out of their own heads for thousands of years. But it’s important to remember that for a whole host of reasons it’s frequently dangerous – and illegal – to do so. There’s ways to have fun, even transformative times completely sober.
Sovereign Health of California has a long history of treating addiction, mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. If you or someone you know is finding something occasionally fun has become a life-deteriorating compulsion that can’t be escaped, call us at (866) 819-0427, or visit our website at prod.sovcal.com. One of our treatment experts can give you more information, or direct you to an appropriate treatment program. A healthier life can start today.
Written by Brian Moore, Sovereign Health Group Writer