The 1970’s were known as the era of disco and social freedoms not experienced prior to that decade. With those social freedoms came widely accepted experimentation in recreational substances now known as “club drugs.” These drugs have continued to thrive on the social scene, experiencing some surges in popularity in each decade since the disco era.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, club drugs are now most commonly ingested through raves, all-night dance parties for teens and young adults. While the heaviest exposure may be in those venues of entertainment, club drugs are also frequently used in nightclubs, bars and outside of public realm, even by career-driven adults. Unfortunately, acceptance of some illicit substances in the club drug family is becoming more mainstream, even into plot lines of major motion pictures, such as The Hangover.
Within the club drug genre are six primary and well known substances. Those are:
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
- Gamma-hydoxybutyrate (GHB)
- Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
These are all often distributed in social settings and crowded party environments, but use is not limited to the party scene.
At least one of the street names of GHB ironically portray the negative nature of the substance: “Greivous Bodily Harm,” “G,” “Liquid Ecstasy” and “Georgia Home Boy.” The rapidity of its effects makes GHB particularly dangerous. As a sedative, it is highly powerful and exacts unconsciousness or physical and verbal submission within mere minutes of ingestion. When combined with alcohol, GHB is particularly dangerous and its power intensifies. GHB is also sometimes used for its growth hormone-inducing effects, by those wishing to build a muscular physique or even enhance sexual performance.
Effects last up to four hours, including slowing of breathing and heart rates to even deadly paces. Overdose can occur very quickly. Common signs of GHB overdose are: nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, drowsiness, impaired reflexes, impaired breathing, and ultimately death.