Among people who go to raves, 89% say that they’ve used ecstasy at least once.
Are Club Drugs Addictive?
Generally, yes, club drugs are addictive. These drugs work on different parts of the brain, stimulating the release of different brain chemicals. The primary chemicals that these drugs release are listed below:
- Dopamine – This chemical is responsible for feelings of upbeat happiness. The brain releases dopamine when a person eats, has sex, or exercises.
- Serotonin – This chemical produces feelings of a calm, relaxed happiness.
- Epinephrine and Norepinephrine – These chemicals take part in the “fight or flight” response. They enable people to move quickly in response to danger.
In normal amounts, these chemicals allow a person’s brain to function in a healthy way. Club drugs, however, cause these chemicals to flood the brain in unnatural amounts. At first, this rush creates euphoria, energy, and other positive feelings. However, as the drugs lose their effect, users will experience a “crash.” Eventually, the brain gets used to the higher amounts of chemicals, which causes dependence and addiction.
All club drugs, even the less addictive ones, come with risks.
People under the influence of these drugs tend to engage in behaviors that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. As a result, club drugs come with the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. People who drive after taking these drugs risk injury and death, both to themselves and to other people on the roads. Furthermore, the impaired judgement can cause people to overestimate their ability to handle the drugs. These individuals may take more drugs than their bodies can handle, or they may take more than one drug or combine the drugs with alcohol. Under these conditions, people have overdosed and even died.
Do you need help to overcome a drug addiction? Call 800-492-QUIT.
As mentioned earlier, the high that comes from club drugs will end in a “crash.” Some of these drugs can last from 4 to 6 hours, and a person under the influence of such drugs may feel wonderful for as long as the high lasts. However, after such a rush from the brain’s feel-good chemicals, the process of coming down from the drugs can feel terrible. The sudden lack of those feel-good chemicals can cause feelings of depression and irritability. If a person has used stimulant drugs to stay awake all night, that crash will also come with exhaustion and potentially delirium.
Club drugs come with a host of other dangers, too. One danger comes from “cut” drugs. Drug dealers often “cut” their drugs with other substances like lactose or baking soda to increase their profits. While some of these substances are harmless, others are potentially fatal. For instance, some drugs may be mixed with other, cheaper drugs. A person who buys MDMA may actually be consuming a combination of MDMA and meth, and he or she would have no way to know the difference. Since mixing these drugs increases their risk, drug users face the possibility of overdose or other health problems.
Another danger comes from water poisoning or water intoxication. Many of these drugs, particularly the hallucinogenic ones, cause extreme thirst. People will sometimes drink abnormally large amounts of water after taking hallucinogens, causing an electrolyte imbalance that could lead to seizures.
In addition to overdose and death, club drugs come with a range of other possible side effects:
- High blood pressure
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of motor function
- Depression or anxiety
- Insomnia or drowsiness
The above side effects are by no means the only potential dangers that come from club drugs. Each person’s body may experience slightly different reactions, but club drugs are dangerous for anybody.
Do You Need Help?
Do you think you might have a substance abuse disorder? Are you worried about whether or not you can quit using club drugs? Maybe you’re worried about one of your loved ones. In any case, the staff members at Rehab Info are ready to listen.