Cannabis is widely used throughout the world in the forms of marijuana and hashish. The drug is usually smoked and causes a state of euphoria. Complications of cannabis include impaired judgement, poor concentration, and poor memory. Serious complications include delirium and/or psychosis.
Club Drugs are a group of drugs classified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) according to their popularity in dance clubs and other party venues. These drugs are of a wide variety of chemical classes, but are linked by their frequent use in social groups and the fact that they are commonly taken together. Because of their popularity and tendency for users to show up in emergency rooms, we review some of the more widely used Club Drugs below.
Ecstasy (MDMA) - Ecstasy is a widely popular drug with mixed stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Many users report a stimulant and euphoric effect, and MDMA appears to specifically enhance the user’s desire for intimacy with others. As such, its use has been associated with an increased frequency of unsafe sexual activity. Acute use of MDMA has been associated with deaths from various causes. Long-term MDMA use appears to lead to a permanent loss of fine-diameter serotonin axons throughout the brain.
Methamphetamine - Also known as crystal or crank, methamphetamine is a psycho stimulant which is neurotoxic to dopamine neurons.
Methamphetamine is often produced locally in small labs and can therefore vary greatly in purity.
GHB - Gamma-hydroxybutyrate is a compound used in Lower doses by bodybuilders and others seeking to gain muscle mass (GHB promotes the release of growth hormone). In higher doses, GHB is used to produce a high, and is common among the club and party scene. GHB is easily overdosed, and can lead to death from respiratory arrest.
Ketamine - Also known as Special K, ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic mostly used in veterinary medicine. It is used for its hallucinatory, dissociative effect.
Rohypnol - Rohypnol is a benzodiazepine approved for clinical use in some countries outside the United States. Rohypnol produces classic benzo- diazepine effects of sedation. However, it has strong amnestic properties, and may be a frequent culprit in drugging others for the purpose of theft or sexual assault.
LSD - Lysergic acid diethylamide is famous for its hallucinogenic properties. Acute use can produce a highly euphoric (“good trip”) or a highly dysphoric (“bad trip”) hallucinatory experience. Long-term LSD use can lead to psychosis or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD