Designer Drugs & The Hidden Dangers
Designer drugs or the term “party drug” refers to a variety of drugs that are typically found, and used, at dance clubs and house parties. These drugs are sometimes also referred to as “designer drugs” because they are typically produced in illegal laboratories, using a variety of chemicals. Not only is it extremely difficult to predict these party drugs’ strength, but it’s also difficult to determine whether or not they contain poisonous ingredients, and what effects those two variables can have on the body.
Designer drugs can pose serious risks to young people’s health and safety. Because they’re tasteless, colorless, and odorless, they can be mixed with any type of drink and used to intoxicate victims without their knowledge. Because predators use these drugs to commit sexual assaults on their unsuspecting victims, they’ve all been categorized as “date rape drugs”. Below, we’ll detail the most popular party drugs and discuss what you need to know about these dangerous designer drugs.
Most Popular Designer Drugs
Street names: E, XTC, X, MDMA, Molly, Love Doves
Ecstasy is a popular recreational drug, abused mostly by teenagers and young adults. It’s effects are very similar to hallucinogens and other party drugs, but it’s actually more closely related to amphetamines, or stimulants. Ecstasy is produced illegally, in unregulated laboratories, and can often be contaminated with substances like caffeine, ephedrine, and/or other toxic substances. Users usually ingest the drug in a capsule or pill form, but some prefer to crush it into a powder and sniff the drug to achieve a faster high by having it absorbed directly into their bloodstream.
In low doses, ecstasy causes a feeling of euphoria, increased energy, increased affinity/closeness to others, and increased self-confidence. In higher doses, it can produce hallucinations, paranoia, panic, anxiety and depression. There may also be increased blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, nausea, blurred vision and vomiting associated with ecstasy use.
Street name: Roofies, R2, Roofenol
Rohypnol is the scientific name for a drug that we’ve probably all heard terrible stories associated with. Roofies, as they are commonly known on the streets belong to the same family of sedative drugs as Valium. It is one of the most popular drugs used by predators to sexually assault their victims because users experience a lack of memory, impaired judgment, dizziness, and periods of blackout. Worse, it only takes about 30 minutes for sedation to begin, and peaks within 2 hours. In total, users can feel the effects of the drug for up to 8 hours, and typically, the victim doesn’t remember anything when they come down.
Street names: Special K, Baby Food
Known most commonly by the name Special K, ketamine is a close relative of PCP and has been used as an anesthetic in medical and veterinary practices for decades. The drug can be found in several forms, most notably as capsules, powder, crystals and in liquid solutions. Its effects include temporary amnesia and intense/terrifying, hallucinations, dizziness, numbness, and even blurred vision. The user may feel sleepy, withdrawn, or confused. User experience a feeling of “disassociation”, as many have reported that the drug make them feel as though their mind is separated from their body.
Street names: Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X
GHB (gamma hydroxy butyrate), has surfaced as a drug at clubs and rave parties and has also been associated with several cases of sexual assault. It is also illegally manufactured, prepared as an odorless, tasteless liquid. It is quickly absorbed in the body and can peak within 20 minutes to an hour. At low doses, the user may feel sociable and less inhibited. However, taking a slightly higher dose will make the person feel dizzy, nauseous and drowsy. Push it too far, and the user can lose consciousness, or even experience seizures that result in a coma.
Street names: Angel Dust, Zoom, Sherm
PCP comes in the form of a white or colored crystal or powder or tablet. Users usually mix the drug with tobacco or marijuana and then smoke the blended mix. The drug’s effects can last as long as two weeks and there have been several documented incidents of users experiencing superhuman like strength and violent fits of rage. Usually, during these bouts of rage and violence, the users end up severely hurting themselves physically.
Street names: Acid, Blotter, Cid, Microdot, Windowpane
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD as it’s more commonly known, is a white, odorless, crystalline powder also made illegally. The drug is sold on the streets in the forms of tablets/capsules, gelatin sheets, or pieces of cartoon-covered blotting paper. LSD’s effects can range anywhere from delusion and visual hallucinations, to panic attacks, severe depression, and psychosis. Several of the drug’s users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD. And once an LSD high gets ahold of your mind, there’s no stopping a “bad trip,” which can go on for up to twelve hours. There have been several people that have never recoveredd from a severe case of acid-induced psychosis.
Again, the illegal drug makers are focused solely on making a profit. Their reckless disregard for the health of their consumers makes messing with these designer drugs a dangerous game. As a matter of fact, with several of these drugs mentioned above, an overdose actually increases the demand for the exact same “batch” of the drug. It’s important that we educate ourselves, and those around us, on the tragic effects that these illegally manufactured drugs can have on our loved ones, so that we can significantly suppress their effects on families across the country going forward.