Party, Club, and Predatory Drugs

Although alcohol remains the primary party drug, there are several other drugs that are used to intensify social experiences. Club drugs often are favored over other recreational drugs, such as marijuana or LSD, because of their ability to enhance social interaction by producing distinctive emotional and social effects, such as sense of physical closeness, empathy, and euphoria.

Sexual Assault: Alcohol remains the primary drug associated with sexual assault and acquaintance sexual assault, or "date rape." However, Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are other drugs common in sexual assaults. Some key concerns:

  • Except for alcohol, these drugs are essentially colorless, tasteless, and odorless
  • "Predators" add drugs to beverages and the person ingests them unknowingly
  • Person ingesting drug is unable to resist and/or remember being assaulted

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy, a hallucinogen, is usually sold as small tablets of various colors imprinted with popular icons or words.

Side Effects: Tightening of the jaw muscles, teeth clenching and grinding, rapid heart rate, excessive pupil dilation, excessive sweating, tremor, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, muscle rigidity, shuffling gait, esophoria (tendency for eyes to turn inward), and difficulty urinating.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Compared with alcohol withdrawal, people who withdraw from MDMA are often more depressed, irritable, and unsociable.

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate)

Street names for GHB include G, liquid ecstasy, Grievous Bodily Harm, gib, soap, scoop, and nitro.

Side Effects: Euphoria, dizziness, excessive salivation, abnormally low heart rate, hypothermia, and amnesia, overdose can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Anxiety, insomnia, tremor, and in severe cases, psychoses that do not respond well to treatment.

Abuse and Dependency: Chronic use may result in dependency.

Ketamine

Ketamine street names include K, special K, super K, vitamin K, kit-kat, keets, super acid, jet, and cat valium.

Side Effects: Cause bizarre thoughts and hallucinations, confusion, memory loss, delirium, and experience rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, and slow or "stop and start" breathing. "Flashbacks" or visual disturbances can appear days or weeks after ingestion.

Abuse and Dependency: Some chronic users become addicted and exhibit severe withdrawal symptoms that require medically supervised detoxification.

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

Rohypnol, is a potent, quick acting sedative. Street names include Mexican Valium, circles, roofies, la rocha, roche, rophies, R2, rope, and forget-me pill.

Side Effects: Higher doses produce anterograde amnesia (a form of memory loss where new events are not transferred to long-term memory), lack of muscle control, and loss of consciousness, reduced blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, visual disturbances, urinary retention, or aggressive behavior.

When mixed with alcohol or other sedating drugs, Rohypnol can incapacitate victims, prevent them from resisting sexual assault, and be lethal.

Abuse and Dependency: Chronic use can produce dependence. Withdrawal symptoms include headache, tension, anxiety, restlessness, muscle pain, sensitivity to light, numbness and tingling of the extremities, and seizures.

Ways to Avoid Predatory Drugs 

What are some signs of being drugged?

  • Feeling more intoxicated than you usually do when drinking the same amount of alcohol.
  • Experiencing a quick onset of muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, and loss of motor coordination and judgment.
  • Having a difficult time remembering what happened after your last drink the night before.
  • Waking up and feeling like you had sex but do not remember with whom or when.

What should I do if I think I have been drugged?

  • Ask a friend to stay with you and help you get the help you need.
  • Contact your study abroad administrator?
  • Preserve as much physical evidence as possible.

How can I avoid being drugged?

  • Do not accept drinks from strangers.
  • Avoid drinking out of large punch bowls or containers that you have not opened yourself.
  • If you feel more intoxicated than you think you should be, tell someone and get help.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • If you think your drink might have been tampered with, get another one!
  • Go to the bar with someone if they have offered to buy you a drink. Watch the bar tender pouring the drink and carry the drink yourself.
  • Watch out for each other.