If you or someone you know is having problems with drugs, help is available at:
Alcohol and Drug 24-Hour Helpline
Crisis Clinic Resource Hotline
True North-Student Assistance Services
Providence St. Peter Chemical Dependency Center
If you want to learn more about drug abuse or find information on particular drugs, the following links can be useful:
Drug dependence/abuse information by WebMD
Drug information and parenting advice
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s family guide to underage drinking
The Partnership at DrugFree.org has information for parents in English and in Spanish, along with a drug guide
A variety of certain drugs often are used at dance parties, raves or concerts. These are commonly called "club drugs." A myth held by some users of these drugs is that they are "safer" than other drugs; however, no drug is safe. Combining them with alcohol makes them even more dangerous.
Sometimes club drugs are mixed with other drugs, which makes them more addictive. Because some club drugs (GHB, ketamine and Rohypnol) are colorless, tasteless and odorless, they can be put in someone’s drink unnoticed, and when incapacitated, the person can be raped or otherwise victimized. In addition, under the influence of Rohypnol, a person may not remember what happened to them, or what they said or did.
MDMA (Ecstasy) is an illegal stimulant with hallucinogenic properties. It has properties similar to both methamphetamine and mescaline. Adolescents and young adults may use it to promote euphoria, feelings of closeness, empathy and sexuality and to reduce inhibitions. It is often abused outside of clubs as well, such as on college campuses. It comes in the form of tablets that are often branded with things like happy faces, company logos, Playboy bunnies or words.
Often, other drugs or harmful substances are mixed in with MDMA tablets, including methamphetamine, cocaine and diet drugs. These drugs, and the combination of mutliple drugs, has an added risk.
Effects of MDMA can include:
Increases in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
Serious liver and kidney damage with regular use
Depression, sleep and memory problems
Cardiovascular system failure or death
Possible damage to portions of the brain, affecting serotonin production and memory
Aftereffects can include sleep problems, anxiety and depression.
Rohypnol is a brand name for flunitrazepam, a powerful sedative that depresses the central nervous system and relaxes muscles. Rohypnol is not legally available in the United States. The white tablets have no taste or odor when dissolved in liquid, and combined with alcohol they can create amnesia so it is often referred to as the "date rape drug" because they can be slipped in another person's drink without them being aware of it or remembering what happened while they were on the drug. Rohypnol also is used on purpose: It's swallowed as a pill, dissolved in a drink or snorted.
Rohypnol produces a sleepy, drunk feeling, but also can cause blackouts, total memory loss, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, difficulty moving and difficulty speaking. It can be addictive. It sometimes is used to counteract or reduce the side effects of stimulants.
GHB is a colorless, odorless depressant. It can be produced in clear liquid, white powder, tablet and capsule forms. It is often manufactured in homes with recipes and kits found and purchased on the Internet. The substances it’s made from are floor stripping solvents and drain cleaners.
In addition to its use in clubs, bodybuilders have been known to abuse GHB to stimulate muscle growth.
Mixing GHB and alcohol can result in nausea, loss of muscle control and difficulty breathing. At higher doses, GHB can:
Slow breathing and heart rate to dangerous levels, leading to coma or death.
Lead to an overdose – drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of consciousness, loss of reflexes, difficulty with breathing and, ultimately, death.
A dissociative anasthetic used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine, ketamine leads people to feel detached from their bodies. It acts similarly to PCP. Ketamine is odorless and tasteless, so it can be added to beverages without being detected, and it induces amnesia. Because of this, the drug is sometimes given to unsuspecting victims to facilitate rape.
Ketamine impairs all senses, depresses the cardiovascular system and can cause nausea. It also can affect the respiratory system. Higher doses can cause agitation, hallucinations, breathing problems and memory problems. People may hurt themselves and not know it.
Illicitly sold ketamine usually comes from diverted or stolen legitimate supplies, primarily from veterinary clinics. It also can be illegally synthesized.
DXM (cough syrup)