Have you ever heard someone say that they are just a “social smoker” or a “social drinker”? Maybe you have said something like this yourself.
The idea of the social smoker or drinker is that the person in question does not smoke or drink all of the time. Instead, they just light up or drink up when they are in the company of friends.
We must admit that we are, in general, a little skeptical of the notion of social smokers or drinkers. But the concept does point to an important fact: Many people develop a substance use disorder as a result of behavior they first engaged in to be part of the crowd.
This might be particularly true when the substances in question are those commonly known as “club drugs.”
The term “club drugs” refers to a variety of substances that have one thing in common: They are often ingested in an attempt to turn a good time into a great time. But while that might be some people’s experience in the short term, in the long run you do not want to be part of the club of club drug users.
The Names Sound Fun. The Results Can Be Anything But.
When you are headed out for a night of partying, you might be tempted to try to amp up the experience with a club drug—maybe the one called “spice” or the one called “ecstasy” or the one called “Special K.”
Those sound fun, right?
And the fact is, synthetic cannabinoids (spice), MDMA and GHB (ecstasy or liquid ecstasy), and ketamine (Special K)—along with a number of other substances—can seem like a lot of fun when you first experiment with them. These drugs can produce the sensation of euphoria, an intense feeling of happiness or joy that you wish would never end.
But, of course, the euphoria will eventually end. And when it does, you may find that you have already created some serious problems for yourself. Even if you don’t notice any immediate problems, you have started down an extremely dangerous road.
Three Dangers Related to Club Drug Use
Among the dangers of using club drugs is the risky behavior you might engage in while under their influence. While you are experiencing the euphoria the drugs can elicit, you might also be hallucinating or find yourself feeling detached from reality. Under those circumstances, you might make some particularly bad decisions. You might try to drive, for example, putting yourself and everyone else on the road in significant danger. Or you might engage in risky sexual behavior that could lead to a pregnancy or exposure to a sexually transmitted disease.
The risk inherent in the euphoria, of course, is that you are going to want to keep experiencing those pleasurable feelings. But as you continue to take the drugs—and eventually have to take more to achieve the same results—you are causing damage to your body and brain. That damage can lead to long-term or permanent problems that impact the rest of your life.
Even when you become aware of the damage you are doing to yourself, it will likely be far from easy to give up the club drugs. Serious withdrawal symptoms—including intense cravings, depression, paranoia, and more—can send you right back to the drug. Now you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You know you have to stop taking the drugs, but you find that you are unable to do so.
Risky behavior, damage to your mind and body, and devastating withdrawal symptoms. None of that sounds fun at all.
Join the Club of People Who Have Regained Their Sobriety
Despite the difficulties we have identified, it is possible to reclaim your sobriety after the struggles of club drug use. The key is to get treatment—medically supervised detoxification to see you through withdrawal, a robust rehabilitation program that offers strategies, resources, and mental health support, and a commitment to a continuum of care desired to help you start your recovery journey with confidence.
We offer all of those things at Farley Center in Williamsburg, VA. Here you will receive personalized treatment based in evidence and experience—and delivered with empathy. If you have joined the club of people who use club drugs, we can help you turn in your membership card and get you signed up for the sobriety club instead.