While their name may sound innocent or even exciting, party drugs are some of the most dangerous misused substances. These psychoactive drugs are especially problematic among younger people looking to party and are often found in the club scene and other settings, like raves or even private high school or college parties.
When most experts talk about drug addiction, they focus on what are thought to be harder substances, like cocaine, meth or opiates. Don’t let the name deceive you, however. Party drug use can become habitual and lead to a serious substance use disorder.
What Are Party Drugs?
The term “party drugs” includes a wide variety of hallucinogens, stimulants and psychoactive substances sold and used at clubs or parties. Because this form of drug use is rampant in these venues, this has earned these substances the nickname “club drugs” or “party drugs.”
Party drugs are used to enhance a party or club-goer’s experience. However, most of these substances have far-reaching consequences, especially when used regularly.
How Party Drugs Affect Your Health
Party drugs is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of substances. As a result, it may be difficult to anticipate how these drugs impact your health and what they may do. However, club drugs have several things in common:
- They influence your perceptions, affecting how you view and interact with your environment.
- They profoundly change your behavior and immediately alter your mood.
- They undermine your senses and coordination.
- They impair your brain’s decision making, often leading to uninhibited or embarrassing choices.
What makes party drugs particularly dangerous is that they’re generally made in makeshift laboratories with no regard for health or safety. Many shady drug makers cut their drugs with cheaper substances, including poisonous chemicals. That means that those who partake in club drugs have no idea how the substance will affect them, putting them at risk for a health crisis or even overdose.
Are Party Drugs Addictive?
Even when taken in small doses, club drugs can alter your brain’s chemistry, triggering the release of high levels of serotonin. This neurotransmitter is associated with feelings of wellbeing and happiness, which can cause users to crave a particular party drug to feel that sensation again.
As with other drugs, those who take party drugs regularly can develop a tolerance and require ever-increasing amounts to achieve the desired results. Eventually, this can cause some individuals to develop a dependence or even an addiction to party drugs.
Commonly Used Party Drugs
There is no all-inclusive list of club drugs that covers everything people may encounter at parties or clubs. However, there are a few that are more common than others. Here are some of the top examples of club drugs:
- Ecstasy (MDMA): Also called “E” or “molly,” ecstasy is one of the most common party drugs out there. This drug causes feelings of extreme happiness and low inhibition that can drive users into compromising situations. Other serious risks include paranoia, hallucinations and even seizures.
- Ketamine: While ketamine is actually an anesthetic used at veterinary clinics, party-goers use this drug to trigger out-of-body experiences. Because it can cause amnesia and immobilization, it’s also one of the more common date rape drugs.
- LSD: Acid, or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), has been one of the more popular rave drugs for decades. Often printed onto a strip of material, LSD use can cause a racing heart, trembling and hallucinations. Overdosing on LSD can lead to severe psychosis that puts individuals at risk of harming themselves or others.
- Synthetic marijuana: While synthetic marijuana mimics the effects of cannabis, its unpredictability could pose more of a danger than its natural counterpart. Using this drug can lead to psychosis and also cause dependence and addiction.
- PCP: Phencyclidine is a dissociative drug more commonly called PCP or angel dust. Individuals take PCP for its mind-altering effects, often going into a trance-like state. However, overdosing on PCP can cause hallucinations as well as seizures, coma or even death.
When Should I Seek Treatment for Club/Party Drug Addiction?
How do you know when your partying has become a problem and it’s time to seek treatment? Club drugs have literal mind-altering side effects. Plus, the longer you use these drugs, the more you put yourself at risk for long-term and life-threatening consequences. That’s why it’s vital that you seek help as soon as you notice that your drug use has become a problem.
Help for Party Drug Addiction at Gateway Foundation
If the use of party drugs has devolved into addiction, Gateway Foundation is here for you. We want to help you take your first steps away from a life of addiction and towards wellness and recovery. To learn more about our evidence-based treatments, contact Gateway Foundation today.