Ecstasy, as one of the most commonly used substances of stimulation, and other club drugs, can be defined as drugs that are an integral part of the atmospheric pleasures and social demands of night clubs, raves and other musical parties. The main reason behind the rampant usage of club drugs is to acquire some feeling of sensory stimulation and in turn invoke social recognition. Statistics are quick to point out that the most favored drug substance on use today is Methylenedioxymetham-phetamine also referred to as ecstasy or MDMA in short. The other set of club drugs in use today, also include Rohypnol, Ketamine, LSD, Gamma-hydroxybutyrate or GHB, and methamphetamine club drugs. These drugs maintain and continue to entice new users due to their cheap nature and availability, and their suitability in physical approach that allows easy intake. Their physicality is mostly represented as small pills, powders or liquids which unlike injections are easy to take (Gahlinger, 2004).
Club drugs are majorly taken via oral means and one of the biggest incentives that they appeal to their users with is the ability to combine with other club drugs and even alcohol. Apart from the few cases in which users become subject to reactivity by these drugs in relation to their functionality, most users are comfortable with cub drugs being mixed and embrace the excitement relayed by them. As expected club drugs are full of side effects but it is even worse considering the fact that manufacturers do corrupt their production and substitute club drugs for other drugs such as caffeine without the knowledge of the users. These actions complicate the search for clear treatment once a patient ingests an overdose or is reactive to a certain club drug since he is subject to treatment for an unknown substance. Apart from an overdose in intake club drugs may also manifest a turbulent ordeal even when the dose taken was very little in quantity hence require decisive care of the patient. However, problems that arise from irregular dosage if taken care of can only last up to seven hours and the patient becomes completely well (Nina,2010).
The term “club drugs” can be said to have originated from a tremendous trend of growth in their usage in the club cycles that saw alcohol’s dominance as a stimulator being replaced by these drugs. A huge percentage of nightclubs and other dance parties are now stocking considerable amounts of club drugs due to their demand and importance in livening up of social feelings in night clubs. The irony of it all is that these drugs continue to entice users who are young people and well educated about the dangers and repercussions of club drugs. These young people are also well versed on the dangers of cocaine, meth and heroine but continue to inject them for social pleasantries (Koesters , Rogers &Rajasingham, 2002).
Statistics from a research carried out by the university of Michigan show that over the past 10 years a remarkable decrease in Marijuana, cocaine and heroin intake and a consequent increase in ecstasy and other club drugs intake. In the survey it was shown that 38 percent of people between 18 and 40 years were familiar with night club experiences and 49 percent of these had used club drugs during their experience. A shocking 8 percent were said to have stayed clear of these substance ingestion (Koesters et al, 2002).
Looking at ecstasy as the most widely preferred club drug, it is believed that it was developed for the sole purpose of appetite restraining but tests carried on it proved futile for human consumption (Malberg & Seiden ,1998). Further tests recommended the drug for psychological balances but laboratories began illegal production for club purposes. Also known as MDMA, ecstasy is found in more than 75 percent of night clubs at any given time due to its popularity (Leung & Cottler, 2008). Its physical appearance is that of small tablets that is easily ingested and is presented in a variety of colors that only bear coded letters and/or words that are better known to the users. A huge percentage of ecstasy pills undergo some form of corruption into caffeine or LSD and users know too little about these illegal imitations of pharmaceuticals that easily cause harm. After ingestion of ecstasy there is a subsequent feeling of arousal that distorts the sensory nerves that lasts for about six hours. This counts as one major reason for its preference since most dance clubs last for six hours and thus a guaranteed state of social elevation throughout the entire period. As the pleasures of ecstasy begin to decline, users undergo awful experiences of anxiety, insomnia and depression with these symptoms lasting up to several weeks after intake. In the long run ecstasy damages the patterns of memory and eventually results in hyperthermia which is an increase in temperature, and can also lead to hyponatremia whereby the user takes in large amounts of water in between short intervals. Too much water in the body is bound to cause intoxication of water. MDMA is also known from a street perspective as either, XTC, X, lovers speed, or clarity (Stephenson, 2009).
One fact that most users of ecstasy fail to understand is that it is similar in structure to methamphetamine despite its smoothness and less addictive nature. Meth remains the most addictive of club drugs that is characterized by appearance in white crystalline powder easily acquired for use due to its effortless process of production (Greenspan & Benderly, 1998). From the fact that meth is easy to produce it avails itself for ingestion to its users in a wide range of intake choices. The drug’s compatible modes of intake include sniffing, smoking, oral intake and use of injection. The stimulating pleasure of the drug exhibits feelings of insomnia, weight loss and acute aggressiveness in terms of speech and physical action. The street names for methamphetamine include, chalk, speed, fire and ice with effects from abuse in the long run causing threats of severe damage to heart and brain functions (NIDA, 2005).
Most club drugs, due to their distinctive features that help in facilitating criminal activities such as rape; have consequently been termed as date- rape enhancing drugs. These drugs can easily be used to cause heavy sleep and bits of amnesia and thus easily facilitate rape. One prominent featuring in this category is that of GHB which was first manufactured in France in the 1960s.Iits main use was to supplement nutrition to athletes and bodybuilders but later gained fame as a club drug for its invigorating effects. Apart from availability in powder and tablet form GHB is also available as a transparent liquid and inhibits stimulating effects after only 20 minutes of intake with the rate of arousal further heightening from a mixture with alcohol. GHB has previously been banned from several countries considering its effects on the users that involved uncontrolled aggressiveness and adverse effects on the Central Nervous System. It inhibits senses of euphoria and amnesia that easily facilitate rape. Its effects include nauseating and general respiratory complications. In the long run, an overdose may result in comma, convulsion and eventually death (Gahlinger, 2004).
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Rohypnol is considered as yet another type of rape-date drug that is also used in some other countries as treatment for lack of sleep. Rohypnol is originally available in some nations across Europe and South America that total up to around 60. It is imported by most other nations including the US with favorable markets due to its cheap nature as a recreational drug. The tablets are sold at a street price of not more than $5 per piece and this serves as evidence for its mass following. Its amnesia causatives further enhance its capability as a rape-date drug and although it belongs to the same family as Valium, small doses reduce Anxiety and muscular tensions faster. The stimulating aspects heighten in relation to mixture with alcohol or other club drugs with effects materializing as early as 30 minutes after ingestion. Abusers of this drug encounter insomnia, disturbing physical movements and visual incapacitation. Its street identification codes include G, easy lay and Georgia home boy (Stephenson, 2009).
Apart from date- rape enhancing club drugs, there are other club drugs like the LSD which is known to cause phantasm and intermittent misrepresentation of the sensory system. LSD is widely known on the streets like boomer, yellow sunshine or acid and it is presented in the market as a capsular tablet and also in liquid form (Edlin, Golanty & Brown, 2000). It also bears no smell and is also tasteless with its effects being felt for a period of between thirty to ninety minutes. Its manifested symptoms include dizziness, a desiccated mouth, appetite loss and hyperthermia.
The other common drug used by most club goers for the purpose of stimulation is known as ketamine discovered in the 60s for numbing purposes. Despite its effectiveness as painkiller medical practitioners were forced to withdraw it due to consequent side effects that included confusion and hallucination. As the other side refrained from its use, club drug users embraced it for the purposes of recreation (Gahlinger, 2004). Due to its limitations on production illegal distribution emanates from products that are corrupted from various human and veterinary products. Its intake channels comprise of nasal, oral, and injections and may even be smoked as a unit with Marijuana or tobacco. Effects of Ketamine are very quick in emerging and may last for a period of up to 45 minutes on the high and 30 minutes on the low. After ingestion drug takers are bound to encounter spells of confusion and may develop a great deal of forgetfulness. Hypertension, together with respiratory disorders plays a great role in characterizing the symptoms of the drug while long term affects include illusions and visual disorders that may last for weeks after intake. Addiction for most pronounced users is inevitable and may require professional detoxification in case of rigorous withdrawals.
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Treatment mentioned earlier is constantly facing jeopardy due to the increase in illegal avenues of manufacturing of club drugs. Club drugs are often substituted or corrupted with other drugs without the user’s knowledge and therefore in case of a reaction due to overdose and so on, it becomes so hard to diagnose the real problem hence sabotage the search for a precise solution. The most vital part of concentration in case of club drug concentration should be the cardio- respiratory section of the body. Users are often prone to a tempting usage of two or more drugs at the same time which may include ecstasy which is from a different category and alcohol which is a depressant. Concentration on the respiratory system is able to stop the outer symptoms and most importantly reveal another underlying drug complication. A bigger percent of hallucinogens meant to stimulate the Central Nervous System in the human body and thus patients who experience an overdose are likely to manifest increased temperatures, anxiety, disquiet and hypertension (Carlson et al., 2003). So far no specific treatment for anxiety has been developed and that states that primary management skills that include cardiac observation and pulse checks should be employed keeping in mind measures to prevent convulsion. Gastrointestinal cleansing done using activated charcoal is also very useful in case of severe contact with club drugs that were specifically taken within an hour’s time.
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It is also important to note that while administering medical care to patients of club drug complication, special care should be taken to avoid the victims escaping treatment and administering harm to their own bodies due to effects from the drugs. Up to date there has been found no antidote for ecstasy and other club drugs with the only exception being Rohypnol which can be countered by using Flumazenil effectively. With a well calculated and administered amount of care club drug patients are bound to get completely healed in a maximum of six to seven hours (Gahlinger, 2004).
Most drug takers tend to prefer club drugs such as ecstasy over other recreational drugs like heroin, bhang and cocaine for the purpose of fulfilling their belief on the issue of club drugs being wizards of social relations. They are appealing to users in that they give out a feeling of belonging and appreciation in the social set up of a rave and distribute feelings of jubilation (Bernschneider-Reif, Oxler & Freudenmann, 2006). In conclusion it is apparent that club drugs are poised to cause more harm than good as seen in their side effects and reactivity but some researchers have proven that club drugs such as ecstasy can be used more creatively.
Ecstasy has been found to promote a rigorous feeling of friendliness, joy and above all love. This was achieved in the study by administering a dose of medium size and the reverse feeling of abandonment was achieved by administering a low dose on healthy individuals. The drug is therefore said to cope with grief from its ability to check fear without having to freeze the emotional and is therefore essential for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients. A medium dosage is also instrumental in eliminating the ability to disclose fear in other people’s faces and that makes it a great tool of existence for the socially challenged by hiding bad emotions of other people (Verheyden , Maidment & Curran, 2003).
It is important therefore not to forget that as much as club drugs may carry with them an importance on the issue of socializing, the negative effects they pose do surpass their usefulness in terms of addiction and eventual dependence on them, and the long term affects that include bran and heart damage. It is therefore important to avoid them at all costs (WHO, 2004).