Club drugs like GHB and Rohypnol are used in date rapes, because they are sedatives and can make one unconscious and immobile.
Class of drug: MDMA (Stimulant), GHB (Depressant), Rohypnol (Benzodiazepines), Ketamine (Dissociative), LSD (Hallucinogen)
Main active ingredient: Varies as drug varies. Since club drugs are often manufactured in makeshift labs, it is impossible to know what chemicals are used to produce them and the consequences of each drug.
What it looks like: Most liquid club drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless, which makes it easy to slip into a drink. Many of the powdered forms are easily dissolved in liquids. Club drugs are also available in pill/capsule form as well as blotter paper.
Street names: MDMA – Ecstasy, E, C, Molly; GHB – Liquid Ecstasy, Grievous Bodily Harm; Ketamine – K, Special K, Kit Kat; Rohypnol – Roofies, R-2; LDS – Acid, Blotter, Microdot
How it is used: Taken orally in pill form (MDMA, GHB, LSD), liquid form (GHB, LSD), powdered form (GHB) and blotter paper (LSD). Ketamine can be smoked, injected or snorted.
Duration of the high: Most club drug effects are felt within 10 to 20 minutes and last from three to six hours. Rohypnol is felt within 30 to 90 minutes and can impair a user for eight to 12 hours.
Withdrawal symptoms: Sleep problems, depression, anxiety
Effects: Different club drugs have different effects:
Physical – loss of muscle and motor control, blurred vision, dehydration, drowsiness, breathing problems, unconsciousness, increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
Mental – hallucinations, anterograde amnesia, euphoria, impaired senses, memory and judgment
Long-term – sleep problems, heart and kidney failure, brain damage, paranoia, coma, death
The estimated number of emergency department visits involving Ecstasy in patients younger than 21 years old increased 128 percent, from 4,460 visits in 2005 to 10,176 visits in 2011 (Drug Abuse Warning Network).
In 2011, 5.1 percent of high school students in Wisconsin Reported that they had tried ecstasy at least once in their lifetime, compared to 4.9 percent in 2009 and 6.7 percent in 2007 (U.S. Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2011).
“Many of these “club drugs” are used recreationally, by choice, at all-night dance parties (raves), bars and concerts. Studies by the National Institutes of Health suggest that risk of death associated with drugs such as ecstasy increases in hot conditions because the drug interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature.”
Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) University of Illinois, The Illinois Department of Human Services