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Club Drugs Abuse Signs and Symptoms

Understanding Club Drugs

Also known as: Ectasy: E, X, XTC; Rohypnol: Roofies, R-2; GHB: Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Grievous Bodily Harm, Georgia, Home Boy; Ketamine: K, Special K, Ket, Vitamin K, Kit Kat

Know the Signs:

  • Problems remembering things they recently said or did
  • Loss of coordination, dizziness, fainting
  • Depression, confusion and sleep problems
  • Chills or sweating
  • Slurred speech

It can be hard to tell if someone has been using club drugs. If someone shows several of the following warning signs, they may be using club drugs.

Your Brain on Club Drugs

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.

Your Body on Club Drugs

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.

Quick Facts About Club Drugs
  • Despite what you may have heard, club drugs can be addictive.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The club drug scene is constantly changing. New drugs and new variations of drugs appear all of the time.


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.

It's Not What It May 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.

They Can Kill You

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

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.

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.

Questions About Club Drug Abuse?

As the largest provider of drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Illinois, Gateway understands you have a lot of questions. We realize you are looking for answers and want to know the next step in getting your spouse, friend or family member the help they need.

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