Club drug addiction is difficult to categorize with one set of abuse characteristics, withdrawal symptoms or even symptoms of long-term abuse. There are a few things you can say about all of them, however. Club drugs are normally addictive, they have all been factors in sexual abuse cases at one time or another and they all make users feel like they are in another world. Other than that, some club drugs produce euphoria, others are depressants and some create a type of amnesia. All can result in overdose, coma, and death, especially when they are mixed together or combined with alcohol.
Club drugs gained their popularity at the same time raves became popular. Teens and young adults attended these music events, which sometimes lasted all night. The crowds are often large, the energy is high and the whole atmosphere lends itself to a feeling of unreality. Drugs that seemed to be more “glamorous” because they were new, and often in easily ingested forms such as pills, would make their way through the crowds. Most of the drugs work on areas of the brain that deal with perception. Under the influence of the drugs, the already surreal atmosphere becomes a whole other world. Initially, these drugs appear harmless. Over time, however, those who have been taking the drugs find they are addictive, both physically and psychologically.
What are These Club Drugs?
Club drugs go by many street names. The most popular ones are:
Other than the names, what these drugs are is basically unknown. This is because most club drugs are created in hidden “labs”, using whatever ingredients are close at hand and can vary in dose, content, and result from one source to the next. In the case of Ketamine, it is a horse tranquilizer and one of the easiest to overdose on. Some of these drugs are both colorless and odorless, making it easy for others to slip them into the drink of an unsuspecting victim.
Overdosing on Club Drugs
Overdosing on these drugs can happen quickly and easily. The uncertainty of the exact chemical composition, the tendency of abusers to take more than one kind, and the mixing in of alcohol abuse all add up to a dangerous result. Many hospitals have difficulty treating an overdose because they have no idea what has been ingested. Far too often, overdosing on club drugs sees a young person facing the remainder of their life with brain damage or death. There is a solution, one that takes place before you have reached this point.
Club Drug Addiction Treatment
When you or a loved one has admitted help is needed for an addiction to any of the club drugs, it is best to go through detox and a residential treatment center that has experience with club drug detox. While it is often believed that only one drug is the problem, the very nature of where and how you got to this point may indicate an addiction to two or more of these drugs. Each will be part of the physical detox process and knowing in advance what you will face is impossible. By undergoing this process in a supervised environment, you make it possible to have all your body systems, such as heart and breathing, monitored at all times. This will help keep you physically safe during the process. Once the physical detox has completed, you are ready to begin working on the psychological addiction.
The psychological addiction related to club drugs is strong. The first reason for this is that most of the abused drugs work directly on the brain. The second reason is that the majority of those facing club drug abuse are young, between the ages of 18 and 25. The brain is still forming at this point and the drugs may have caused a strong connection to form that needs to be re-directed. The good news is that for that very reason, proper addiction treatment may be more effective because the young brain is still malleable.
Behavior modification and talk therapy are the most effective follow-up treatment. Starting out in a residential treatment center is preferable as it gives you time to adjust to a new way of thinking that does not include using drugs or alcohol. Very often, counseling will take the form of both one-on-one and group counseling. Family counseling may also be a part of recovery, giving you and your family a means to learn how to function and communicate on a more steady foundation.
Addiction treatment does not end the day you walk out of an addiction treatment center. Fighting addiction is an ongoing thing you will face the rest of your life. It will be easy at times, and more difficult when life isn’t going smoothly. Outpatient treatment is often a logical next step to help ingrain the newly learned behaviors. Joining a support group also helps increase the chances of staying clean. It gives you support of others who understand what you are going through completely. Not only can they understand, but those who have been clean longer often have advice on things that work when cravings kick in or when you are feeling down and alone. You don’t have to go through this new period of your life alone. From the moment you reach out for help, you are in contact with others who care about you and your future success. It is only a matter of believing in yourself enough to accept that support.