Club Drugs - Articles of Interest

Info for teens--The American club drug story--information on effects.
Designed to help consumers seeking information about the illegal drugs referred to as club drugs.
From the US Department of Health and Human Services and
SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information.

Tips for Teens:
The Truth About Club Drugs

Slang Terms--Ecstasy: E, X, XTC. GHB: Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Grievous Bodily Harm, Georgia Home Boy. Ketamine: K, Special K, Ket, Vitamin K, Kit Kat. Rohypnol: Roofies, R-2.

Get the Facts

Club drugs affect your brain. The term "club drugs" refers to a wide variety of drugs often used at all-night dance parties ("raves"), nightclubs, and concerts. Club drugs can damage the neurons in your brain, impairing your senses, memory, judgment, and coordination.

Club drugs affect your body. Different club drugs have different effects on your body. Some common effects include loss of muscle and motor control, blurred vision, and seizures. Club drugs like ecstasy are stimulants that increase your heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to heart or kidney failure. Other club drugs, like GHB, are depressants that can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, or breathing problems.

Club drugs affect your self-control. Club drugs like GHB and Rohypnol are used in "date rape" and other assaults because they are sedatives that can make you unconscious and immobilize you. Rohypnol can cause a kind of amnesia--users may not remember what they said or did while under the effects of the drug.

Club drugs are not always what they seem. Because club drugs are illegal and often produced in makeshift laboratories, it is impossible to know exactly what chemicals were used to produce them. How strong or dangerous any illegal drug is varies each time.

Higher doses of club drugs can cause severe breathing problems, coma, or even death. Club drugs can kill you.

Before You Risk It

Know the law. It is illegal to buy or sell club drugs. It is also a federal crime to use any controlled substance to aid in a sexual assault.

Get the facts. Despite what you may have heard, club drugs can be addictive.

Stay informed. The club drug scene is constantly changing. New drugs and new variations of drugs appear all of the time.

Know the risks. Mixing club drugs together or with alcohol is extremely dangerous. The effects of one drug can magnify the effects and risks of another. In fact, mixing substances can be lethal.

Look around you. The vast majority of teens are not using club drugs. While ecstasy is considered to be the most frequently used club drug, less than 2 percent of 8th-12th graders use it on a regular basis. In fact, 94 percent of teens have never even tried ecstasy.

Know the Signs

How can you tell if a friend is using club drugs? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may be using club drugs:

Problems remembering things they recently said or did Loss of coordination, dizziness, fainting
Sleep problems
Chills or sweating
Slurred speech
What can you do to help someone who is using club drugs? Be a real friend. Save a life. Encourage your friend to stop or seek professional help. For information and referrals, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686.

Questions and Answers

Q. If somebody slipped a club drug into your drink, wouldn't you realize it immediately?

A. Probably not. Most club drugs are odorless and tasteless. Some are made into a powder form that makes it easier to slip into a drink and dissolve without a person's knowledge.

Q. Are there any long-term effects of taking ecstasy?

A. Yes. Studies on both humans and animals have proven that regular use of ecstasy produces long-lasting, perhaps permanent damage to the brain's ability to think and store memories.

Q. If you took a club drug at a rave, wouldn't you just dance off all of its effects?

A. Not necessarily. Some of ecstasy's effects, like confusion, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and sleep problems, have been reported to occur even weeks after the drug is taken.

For More Information

To learn more about club drugs or obtain referrals to programs in your community, contact one of the following toll-free numbers:

SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
(800) 729-6686, TDD (800) 487-4889, linea gratis en español 877-767-8432

Curious about the TV ads of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign?
Check out the Web site at or visit the Office of National Drug Control Policy Web site

The bottom line: If you know someone who uses club drugs, urge him or her to get help. If you're using club drugs--stop! The longer you ignore the real facts, the more chances you take with your life. It's never too late.

Talk to your parents, a doctor, a counselor, a teacher, or another adult you trust.

Do it today!

Dear Floyd:

I have two friends that are married, and both took ecstasy on Sat, night, they both are 100% sure that swallowed a pill each. However, they found out that the wife conceived on a Monday night following the (2 days after taking the pill) ecstasy. The both know this for certain for it was there first time doing any kind of drug including alcohol (which was not taking the same night of the pill). The questions they both have are if there baby will have clubbed feet or some sort of retardation or some sort of handicap, even though it was taken prior to conception? Please help... for they are too scared to even say anything to the Dr. or any body else for that matter. I was an extreme addict and now I don't even drink nor smoke. And they felt comfortable enough to ask me. Unfortunately the wife is crying daily for she feels she ruined her future child before it even had a chance.


Thanks for your email. Under normal circumstances, with first use, your friend's body should have had sufficient time to metabolize the drugs in her body before she conceived. Again, I doubt that harm has been done, but prompt medical consultation and advice should be obtained as soon as possible.

Her situation can be affected by other medical conditions and medications. People who take Ecstasy often experience depression for a period of time following the drug use. If the person experiences depression and then goes on a prescribed SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) such as Prozac, the combination of the two drugs in the future could be extremely harmful. Combining Ecstasy with alcohol can also be very dangerous.

See drug interactions:

However, of greatest concern to me is your friend's failure to discuss this with her doctor. She needs to establish a good relationship with her doctor for her child's sake. The person who tells herself, "I have done something stupid and hurt my unborn child"--and then bottles up the fear and anxiety and doesn't consult the doctor--is suffering both mental and physical stress, unnecessarily.

Has your friend given any thought to how an extended period of fear, extreme anxiety, and guilt may affect her own body chemistry and the development of the child? If she is unable to have an open and honest medical relationship with her current doctor, she needs to quickly find a pediatrician that she likes and trusts. Both the expecting mom and her unborn child deserve the best prenatal medical care to insure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

You did not mention the age, employment or insurance status of your friend, but if she thinks the fetus has already been harmed, her depression may stem from guilty thoughts of aborting the pregnancy. She would benefit from sympathetic and supportive counseling by a trained mental health professional during this upsetting time. If she cannot afford to pay for counseling, there are many community agencies that she can turn to for help. If you have a Crisis Clinic telephone service in your area, call to see if they will make a referral.

I can understand your friend's deep concern about these issues. I pray that she finds the strength and support to escape from the drama of the moment and take responsible action.

Best wishes to all of you,

Floyd Else, MA, LMHC, NCC, MAC

A commonly asked question is how long does ecstasy stay in your system? I found the following information on, a site that is organized and maintained by volunteers. [I cannot vouch for the medical accuracy of the information, but it sound like what I would expect--Webmaster.]

Testing people for previous drug use--Urine tests

"MDMA can be detected in urine tests for 2 to 5 days after use. This depends mainly on the size of the last dose taken, as every six hours the amount in your body is halved. So a 128 mg dose taken at midnight would reduce to 64 mg by 6 a.m.; 32 mg by midday and so on down to 1 mg in less than 48 hours. However, if you take several Ecstasy every weekend, it is possible that some may be stored in your body fat and will be released gradually over a couple of weeks. Remember too that other drugs, especially amphetamines, respond to the same tests."

Also see additional information: NIDA InfoFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy) on the on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.

January 2005: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Report focuses on MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse.

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