Designer drugs describe illegal synthetic drugs with modified chemical components created in secret laboratories. Properties of existing drugs like marijuana and cocaine are changed to make a new drug in order to avoid existing drug laws but the effects are the same as illicit drugs and sometimes they are more dangerous. Due to the alteration of the chemical components of the drugs it is hard to know the potency and their harmful effects.
Designer drugs are usually taken orally, or by smoking, snorting and injection.
The common effects of designer drugs are euphoria, stimulation and sensory distortions. Fatal side effects may include paranoia, serious memory loss, hallucinations, convulsions, violent behavior, coma and death.
Designer drugs were originally created to give alternative safe, effective and available potent drugs to the public. However, due to illicit use of these drugs they were included in the list of illegal substances. In addition, entrepreneurs along with the growing number of amateur chemists who work in underground laboratories started to manufacture cheap and hazardous substances that are modified to be more potent. Because of the term “designer drugs” they were associated with fad and elite class making them more appealing to the adolescents and young adults. These substances are well-known as psychoactive substances used by participants in underground raves or techno music parties.
At present, psychological and physical hazards of designer drugs prompted the legislators to pass laws restricting their importation and clandestine production.
Ecstasy and Club Drugs
Club drugs refer to commonly abused substances used by adolescents or young adults to enhance stimulation and imagery in the club scenes like bar, raves and nightclubs and in social settings they frequently visit. These are heterogeneous group of psychoactive drugs that cause serious damage to the health of an individual. NIDA reported 6.5 million cases of ecstasy use alone in 2000 and the figures continuously increase every year. Club drugs are grouped as designer drugs, hallucinogens and depressants.
Ecstasy (also known as MDMA) is a psychoactive drug that has stimulant characteristic like methamphetamine and hallucinogenic properties like mescaline. Ecstasy is classified as a designer drug that is the most brain cell -destructive party drug.
Ketamine is a hallucinogen which is the most emotionally disparaging club drug in the market. It is a tranquilizer that produces hallucinations and dream-like states.
GHB and Rohyphnol are depressants popularly used as date rape drugs. They are very potent sedatives and intoxicating substances that aid a person in committing sexual advances. Rohyhpnol causes serious memory black -out that disables a person to recollect anything that happened during the night after intake of the drug. Rohyphnol also makes a person physically incapable to resist sexual assaults.
GHB may cause instant death depending on the person’s body constitution and reaction to the substance. These two drugs can easily be dissolved in liquid and will likely be drunk unnoticed by the victims.
Methamphetamine is best described by its chief symptom called, “tweaking”, or high degree of agitation caused by the initial rush of stimulation after the body receives the drug. It can be accompanied by risky and violent psychotic behaviors.
The popularity of club drugs is attributed to the effects of enhancing the club experience of the users. Most of the users are optimistic and energetic teens or young adults in early twenties.
The most popular designer drugs and club drugs in America today are: