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Today’s younger generations are suffering from club drug addictions – and these are not the addictions of the previous generation. Club drugs are inherently more dangerous because they are entirely unpredictible – there is no accepted “recipe” for club drugs like ecstasy, GHB, Ketamine, or Rohypnol. Instead, these drugs are often manufactured under unsanitary conditions using dangerous chemical components. Addiction to club drugs occurs rapidly because the drugs themselves are extremely physically addicting, but also because the high they produce is so intense that users immediately set out to recreate it over and over again.
One of the most disturbing problems with club drugs is the age of the average user. These drugs are typically being marketed and sold to teens between the ages of 13 and 19. They are offered as safe alternatives to other drugs when in reality they are probably more dangerous and result in more rapid addiction. In fact, some of these drugs are used regularly in date rape situations where the user is so sedated they cannot do anything to defend themselves or get help. Club drugs are often offered to impressionable young people who are then taken advantage of in some way by the seller.
Club drugs are popular because the high they produce is reportedly an intensely pleasurable experience. However, this is where the real peril lies. By taking these drugs, users receive high levels of endorphins and serotonin, both of which are also found naturally in the brain and control mood and personality. When club drugs are used regularly, it interrupts the brain’s ability to regulate the body’s mood with naturally occurring compounds. When this occurs, users can enter a deeply depressive state that does not resolve – even if the user discontinues abusing club drugs. This creates a severe risk of suicide and self-mutilation that could be fatal if left untreated.
The general demographic that uses and becomes addicted to club drugs are not likely to believe their friends would ever involve them in something potentially life-threatening, nor would they be particularly willing to subject themselves to drug treatment. As a result, unique strategies must be used with club drug users to help them understand what they are really doing to themselves – and to those around them. This is often best accomplished with a professionally arranged intervention.
Users of club drugs need to understand that some of these drugs – especially Rohypnol, can result in death if the user attempts to detox from them on their own. This is because this drug and others like it are in the benzodiazepine family, all of which present potentially fatal withdrawal concerns. For this reason, any person suffering from an addiction to club drugs should seek professional help to stop. There are many options available, including residential inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs. All of these offer therapies that are critical in order to stop using drugs and remain sober one day at a time, for a lifetime.