Party drugs are prevalent in certain environments, including clubs, raves, bars and other events. These drugs can alter a person’s life and affect their health and well-being. Once a person becomes addicted to party drugs, quitting and regaining their life can be challenging. However, professional treatment can help you reach sobriety and improve your quality of life.
Learn more about party drugs, the signs and symptoms of addiction and more below.
“Party drug” describes an assortment of substances people use in party settings, such as clubs, raves, bars, concerts or house parties. These substances are also sometimes called club drugs.
There isn’t a single comprehensive list that includes everything someone may encounter in these situations. However, there are common party drugs that appear frequently. Party drugs are also often glorified on social media, where users encourage substance use, possibly increasing the potential for addiction. The following are some of the most commonly used party drugs:
Hallucinogenics induce hallucinations, often referred to as a “trip.” Individuals who use these substances become out of touch with reality, increasing the chance of risky behaviors. Common hallucinogens include:
Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances by young adults in the United States. Alcohol is a legal substance for people 21 and over, and it’s common for young people under 21 to gain access to alcohol despite it being illegal.
Marijuana, one of many psychoactive substances, is made from a plant that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. However, some people can experience paranoia when under the influence of the substance. As more states legalize marijuana, it becomes more common at parties or clubs.
Inhalants are often found at raves or clubs, allowing a person to inhale or “huff” a substance to experience a quick high. People can use household items to induce a high, including bleach, cleaning supplies and whipped cream containers. Misusing inhalants can cause extreme tremors or blackouts.
Ecstasy, also called MDMA, is a party drug that creates a sense of euphoria, happiness and friendliness. It works like a combination of hallucinogens and stimulants. Using ecstasy can cause people to get into compromising situations that risk their health and safety.
Stimulants increase focus and attention and are popular among party-goers who want to improve their ability to stay awake. There are many stimulants, some used as a treatment for conditions like ADHD and others used recreationally. Some people also misuse prescription stimulants. Different stimulants include:
Another category of party drugs includes date rape drugs, which are used to incapacitate and take advantage of another person. These drugs are often slipped into a drink and are a common link in sexual assault cases. Different date rape drugs include:
People attending parties, clubs, raves or other events must exercise caution to prevent another person from slipping something in their drink.
Sometimes, a person’s party drug addiction may not be apparent, especially if they use other substances that mask the addiction. However, there are signs and symptoms you can look for to identify party drug addiction.
Frequently using party drugs can cause various physical and mental health problems, including:
People who use party drugs are also more likely to have memory blackouts, where they forget hours at a time and can’t recall what they’ve done. These blackouts can lead to risks to their health, including unsafe sexual behaviors and risky decision-making that could lead to accidents and falls.
Developing an addiction to party drugs can also alter your behavior, resulting from worsening mental health or in an attempt to hide or justify substance use. Different behavioral issues or changes that can develop due to party drug addiction include:
These behavioral issues can quickly alter your quality of life, which can cause a person to use party drugs more to cope. Increased use can become a severe addiction, resulting in severe physical and mental health problems.
When a person uses party drugs frequently, they start to build a tolerance and require more of the substance to feel its effects. When a person has a tolerance, they might become dependent on the drug, which causes the body to go through withdrawal when they go a period without the substance. Common party drug withdrawal symptoms include:
These withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, causing a person to continue to use more party drugs to prevent these feelings, despite the health risks. However, professional addiction treatment can help you find relief from your withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts to its natural balance.
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A big problem with party drugs is that the majority are made illegally in unregulated labs, meaning they could contain various toxins. Knowing the toxicity levels of a given dose can be challenging, so determining the risk of overdose or other problems is also hard to measure, even if you think you’re taking small doses.
Many club drugs contain chemicals that affect your central nervous system. This bodily system includes the brain, nerves and spinal cord and is responsible for controlling your muscles and senses. The short-term effects of party drugs will depend on the drug type, their physical weight and a person’s physical or mental health. However, some symptoms do overlap and can include:
It’s important to note that taking some party drugs even once can cause severe health problems if the dose is significant. Date rape drugs, such as Xanax or Rohypnol, can cause respiratory depression, which is a condition that causes a person’s breathing to become extremely slow or stop altogether. This condition could be fatal with a high enough dose and lack of medical attention. Some party drugs can also affect different organs in high doses, such as the kidneys or liver.
When a person starts to use these drugs frequently for long periods, they might experience more severe health effects, including:
Long-term effects of party drug use include failing to keep up with responsibilities, social isolation and financial difficulty. A person may also be more likely to engage in risky behaviors that can cause physical or mental harm.
If you or a loved one are struggling with party drug addiction, seeking help from a professional addiction treatment center can help improve symptoms and prevent them from developing into something more serious.
Get the support you need to help yourself or your loved one break free from addiction.
People who have never gone through addiction treatment may be unfamiliar with the process. Below, we’ll guide you through the steps, so you know what to expect when you or a loved one enters professional treatment.
Before taking the first step in your addiction recovery process, you must first go through an assessment. An addiction specialist will ask you questions to create your personalized treatment plan. The following are some questions that may be asked during your evaluation:
These questions will help addiction professionals curate a personalized treatment plan that addresses your circumstances.
The first step of an addiction treatment program is detoxing from the substance so your body can start operating normally. In most cases, you’ll detox cold turkey under the medical supervision of the staff. The professionals will watch you to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the process.
You may participate in a medication-assisted treatment program, where you’re administered medication under professional supervision that helps relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These medications may even be necessary for people who are quitting cold turkey after a severe addiction to prevent life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
As you take these medications, you’ll continue through treatment. You may be administered medication in an inpatient treatment program if you need a sober environment to recover. You also have the option of an outpatient treatment program if your addiction is less severe and you have outside responsibilities.
Counseling is a significant part of your treatment and helps you get to the root of your substance use disorder and learn the necessary skills to overcome your triggers and cravings. There are various types of therapy to help address your specific circumstances, including:
You’ll likely participate in multiple types of therapy to address your needs, sometimes on an individual basis with a counselor and other times with a group.
An aftercare plan is essential to ensure you sustain your recovery long after official treatment. You’ll work with a professional for relapse prevention — a plan that helps you address your triggers and cravings.
You’ll create a list of your triggers and different scenarios you may encounter as you reenter sober society. Then, you’ll work on responses to these instances to prevent a relapse. For example, attending large parties or clubs may trigger you. If you have to attend a large party, you can plan out responses, such as leaving for a few minutes to take a walk outside or meditate when you feel uncomfortable or experience cravings.
You’ll also create a list of people from your support network you can contact if you experience challenging situations. Whenever you experience cravings or triggering situations, you can call one of these individuals to talk to or spend time with.
Gateway Foundation offers customized, evidence-based recovery plans to support your recovery and ongoing healing.
If you’ve never been through addiction treatment or are considering a different program level, you may have some lingering questions. Below, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about party drug addiction treatment to ensure you or your loved ones are prepared for your recovery journey.
Various medications are used during a medication-assisted treatment program, including Naltrexone, Disulfiram, Methadone and Buprenorphine. Each drug serves a different purpose.
For example, Naltrexone is commonly used for people with alcohol use disorders since it blocks the effects of alcohol, making it less tempting to consume. On the other hand, medications like Methadone trick your brain and body into thinking it’s still using substances, allowing you to feel more comfortable during your withdrawal process and reducing relapse risk.
When you first enter an addiction treatment program, your assessment will help determine if you need medication throughout any stage of your recovery. You may also be prescribed medication if you’re struggling with underlying mental health conditions to help address the root cause of your addiction.
It can be challenging to see your loved one struggle with addiction, but there are ways you can help encourage them to seek treatment:
Your day-to-day treatment may look different than someone else’s, but that’s because your programs are tailored to your individual needs to ensure the best chance of success. However, you can expect high-quality care and support from the beginning.
You should expect to make lifestyle changes, such as the activities you participate in or the people you surround yourself with. Making these changes can be uncomfortable, but they’re necessary steps to improve your well-being. You’ll also need to actively participate in your personalized program to get the most out of it.
Remember that there is no single way to achieve recovery. What works for you might not work for someone else. You can seek advice from professionals and those in the latter stages of their recovery journey and take what works for you. For example, you may find meditation useful to help you cope with triggers and cravings, but that journaling doesn’t provide the same effect as it does for others.
If you or a loved one is struggling with party drug addiction, you’re not alone. Gateway Foundation is a Chicago treatment center offering programs for party drug addiction. We have different levels of personalized treatment to address your unique needs.
Our team of professionals has the skills and knowledge to help you reach and maintain sobriety through evidence-based practices. At Gateway Foundation, we’re here to support you through every stage of the recovery process. Contact us today to learn more about club drug addiction treatment in Illinois and how we can help.
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