Also referred to as “club drugs,” these substances are taken most often to produce a feeling of euphoria. However, they come attached to a number of serious and dangerous risks. This article will provide a quick look at a few of the most commonly used club drugs and what users risk when taking them.
1. MDMA (ecstasy & molly)
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDMA, also known as ecstasy and molly, is a synthetically produced drug that is intended to bring about feelings of energy, pleasure, warmth, and distortions in sensory and time perception in the user. MDMA increases the chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain. Short term effects on the body include: nausea, muscle cramping, involuntary teeth clenching, blurred vision, chills, and sweating. This being said, the long term effects of high doses of MDMA are much more serious. Those include: a loss of the body’s ability to regulate temperature resulting in possible liver, kidney, or heart failure, and an increased tendency to become involved in unsafe sexual behavior. As a result, this may create a higher chance for the user to contract HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
2. Cocaine (coke)
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant. Individuals using cocaine are doing so in hopes of achieving extreme happiness and energy, mental alertness, and hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch. One danger associated with cocaine use is the frequency at which cocaine is often cut with other substances such as fentanyl. These practices greatly increase the likelihood of cocaine overdose in the user. The long term effects of cocaine use are usually dependent on the mode by which the user is administering the drug. If the user is snorting cocaine, a loss of smell, nosebleeds, and problems with swallowing can result. If the user is smoking cocaine they can become asthmatic, and be at higher risk for respiratory infections. If the user is consuming cocaine severe bowl decay can result. Finally, if cocaine is being injected, the user is at a higher risk for contracting bloodborne diseases as well as collapsed veins.
3. Ketamine Hydrochloride (special K & vitamin K)
Ketamine Hydrochloride, also known as special K, is actually a legal substance used as an anesthetic that blocks sensory perception. However, because of its property as a dissociative anesthetic, some individuals have taken to using it recreationally. Users utilizing special K are doing so in hopes to produce a trance like feeling or even to produce hallucinogenic effects. A common long term effect of ketamine use is a dependence on the substance. There is also evidence to suggest that long term ketamine use can have detrimental effects on cognitive abilities, memory and mood.
If you or someone you know is struggling with any of these drugs, be sure to reach out to Wayne State University’s Campus Health Center.