Club Drugs

Club DrugsIn recent years, certain drugs have emerged and become popular among teens and young adults at dance clubs and "raves." These drugs, collectively termed "club drugs," include MDMA/Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride).

MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.

The tasteless and odourless depressants Rohypnol and GHB are often used in the commission of sexual assaults due to their ability to sedate and intoxicate unsuspecting victims. Rohypnol, a sedative/tranquilizer, is legally available for prescription in over 50 countries outside of the U.S. and is widely available in Mexico,Colombia, and Europe. Although usually taken orally in pill form, reports have shown that some users grind Rohypnol into a powder and snort the drug.

GHB, available in an odourless, colourless liquid form or as a white powder material, is taken orally, and is frequently combined with alcohol. In addition to being used to incapacitate individuals for the commission of sexual assault/rape, GHB is also sometimes used by body builders for its alleged anabolic effects.

The abuse of ketamine, a tranquilizer most often used on animals, became popular in the 1980s, when it was realized that large doses cause reactions similar to those associated with the use of PCP, such as dream-like states and hallucinations. The liquid form of ketamine can be injected, consumed in drinks, or added to smokable materials. The powder form can also be added to drinks, smoked, or dissolved and then injected. In some cases, ketamine is being injected intramuscularly.

Health Effects

In high doses, MDMA can interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature, sometimes leading to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure, and death. MDMA users also risk increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating. Psychological effects of MDMA use can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. Additionally, these problems can occur during as well as sometimes days or weeks after using the drug.

Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are all central nervous system depressants. Lower doses of Rohypnol can cause muscle relaxation and can produce general sedative and hypnotic effects. In higher doses, Rohypnol causes a loss of muscle control, loss of consciousness, and partial amnesia. When combined with alcohol, the toxic effects of Rohypnol can be aggravated.

GHB has been shown to produce drowsiness, nausea, unconsciousness, seizures, severe respiratory depression, and coma. Additionally, GHB has increasingly become involved in poisonings, overdoses, date rapes, and fatalities.

The use of ketamine produces effects similar to PCP and LSD, causing distorted perceptions of sight and sound and making the user feel disconnected and out of control. The overt hallucinatory effects of ketamine are relatively short-acting, lasting approximately one hour or less. However, the user's senses, judgement, and coordination may be affected for up to 24 hours after the initial use of the drug. Use of this drug can also bring about respiratory depression, heart rate abnormalities, and a withdrawal syndrome.

Street Terms







Cat valium

Disco biscuit

Forget me drug

Grievous bodily harm


Hug drug

Mexican valium






Super acid