How to Protect Yourself From Party Drugs

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Party and nightlife environments are commonly associated with alcohol and drug use. Often, these environments serve as the initial introduction to the use of party drugs for teens and young adults.

If you frequent nightlife or party scenes, it is imperative that you learn how to protect yourself from substance use. This includes party drugs you choose to use as well as those that may be slipped into your drinks, like roofies. Party drugs can be detrimental to your health and wellness. In some cases, the use of party drugs can put your life at risk.

Pathways Recovery Center offers addiction and mental health treatment, including for those who have used party drugs. Whether you are interested in becoming educated about the dangers of substance use or are seeking professional guidance and support in overcoming substance use disorder (SUD), we are here to walk with you every step of the way.

What Are Party Drugs?

Party drugs, also referred to as club drugs, are a group of psychoactive substances most often used in nightlife environments. Such environments could include concerts, bars, and nightclubs.

These types of drugs act on your body's central nervous system (CNS). They can cause significant changes in your mood, awareness, and overall behavior.

Illegal Party Drugs

MedlinePlus highlights the following illegal substances that are often classified as party drugs. Common street names are also included.

  • MDMA: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, aka “molly” or “ecstasy”
  • GHB: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, aka “G” or “liquid ecstasy”
  • Ketamine: Also known as “K” or “special K”
  • Methamphetamines: Also known as “speed” or “ice”
  • LSD: Lysergic acid diethylamide, aka “acid”
  • Rohyphnol: Also known as “roofies”

Legal Party Drugs

Some legal substances also fit the category of party drugs. One example is alcohol. Alcohol is frequently used in the party scene and can be considered a party drug. Unfortunately, alcohol use, even in moderation, can pose serious health effects.

In addition, prescription stimulants (amphetamines) may be misused or abused in nightlife scenes. Even though they are legal, the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs is dangerous. It can lead to addiction.

The Dangers of Party Drugs

Use of alcohol and other drugs in any context increases your risk of experiencing many health-related consequences.

Additionally, using substances in party environments can increase the risk of other negative outcomes. After all, when a group of people gathered in a crowded space are all under the influence of substances, individuals in the group become less safe. Sexual assault and accidental injuries may be more frequent.

Experimenting with party drugs even one time can make you vulnerable to developing an addiction. Addiction is a severe mental health disorder that impairs brain structure and functioning. Over time, addiction can increasingly interfere with your ability to function normally in daily life.

Addiction is not the only health-related risk of party drugs. While risks vary based on various factors such as the type of drug(s) used, as well as the frequency, intensity, and duration of substance use, they generally involve:

When under the influence:

  • Psychotic episodes
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unstable body temperature
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Life-threatening effects such as heart problems, stroke, hyperthermia, and seizures

As a result of drug withdrawal:

  • Inability to ground yourself in reality
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Cravings to use substances again

Risks of repeatedly using party drugs:

  • Addiction
  • Accidental overdose 
  • Impaired attention, learning, and memory
  • Tremors
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Impaired emotional regulation
  • Amnesia

The Potential for Drug Overdose

Most party drugs are obtained illegally through the black market. This increases the potential that the substance you are buying is tainted with other, unknown street drugs, as this increases profit for the seller.

Unfortunately, the contamination of party drugs with life-threatening substances like fentanyl is more prevalent than ever. As an unsuspecting buyer, you may consume a party drug that is contaminated with fentanyl. This puts you at risk of overdose, addiction, and death.

Protecting Yourself From Party Drugs

You can best protect yourself from party drugs by limiting the amount of time you spend in nightlife environments. However, avoiding these environments entirely may not be something you want to do. In this case, there are other steps you can take to protect yourself from the risks of party drugs.

1. If you plan to drink: Set limits for how much you are drinking, have a designated driver, avoid playing drinking games, rotate drinks with water, and remember to eat beforehand.

2. Know how to say “no”: You can protect yourself from party drugs by preparing your response if or when you are offered to partake in substance use. Come up with a plan beforehand to avoid succumbing to pressure in the moment.

3. Continue becoming educated about the dangers of party drugs and addiction: Understanding the lasting harms of addiction and substance use can reduce any willingness you may have to use alcohol and other drugs.

4. Ensure a balance between work and play: Recognize that you do not need alcohol or other drugs to feel pleasure or to fully enjoy a night out.

5. Advocate for sobriety, treatment, and recovery: If you have friends, loved ones, or other people in your life that regularly use drugs, help them understand their risks. Encourage them to seek treatment and recovery.

Treatment for Pary Drug Use at Pathways

At Pathways Recovery Center, we understand the pressures to use party drugs in nightlife and other party scenes. However, we also recognize the lifelong harms that you may experience even by using party drugs even once.

For you or your loved ones who may be struggling, understand that we can help you achieve a life free from the grips of substance use.

Party drugs are a broad class of substances that are most often used in nightlife or party environments. You may desire to use these drugs to experience an altered state of consciousness or to heighten your arousal. However, the use of these drugs, in any context, can pose incredible risks to your health and well-being. If you find yourself caught up in the recurrent use of party drugs, Pathways Recovery can help. We offer a wide range of treatment programs and therapeutic options to meet our clients where they are in their recovery. We provide holistic treatments to aid in lasting sobriety and healing. To learn more, call (888) 771-0966 today.

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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