Club Drugs (cont.)

Addictive Potential

  • Repeated use of GHB may lead to withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Severe withdrawal reactions have been reported among patients presenting from an overdose of GHB or related compounds, especially if other drugs or alcohol are involved.


  • Like other benzodiazepines, chronic use of Rohypnol can produce tolerance, physical dependence, and addiction.


  • There have been reports of people binging on ketamine, a behavior that is similar to that seen in some cocaine- or amphetamine-dependent individuals. Ketamine users can develop signs of tolerance and cravings for the drug.

What Other Adverse Effects Do Club Drugs Have on Health?

Comment on this

Uncertainties about the sources, chemicals, and possible contaminants used to manufacture many club drugs make it extremely difficult to determine toxicity and associated medical consequences. Nonetheless, we do know that:

  • Coma and seizures can occur following use of GHB. Combined use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and breathing difficulties. GHB and two of its precursors, gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4 butanediol (BD), have been involved in poisonings, overdoses, date rapes, and deaths.


  • Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other CNS depressants.


  • Ketamine, in high doses, can cause impaired motor function, high blood pressure, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.

Patient Comments

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Club Drugs - Abuse Question: Please describe your experience with club drugs, including addiction or abuse.
Club Drugs - Adverse Effects Question: If you or a friend have used club drugs, what adverse effects have they had on the health of you or your friend?
Club Drugs - Treatment Question: Please discuss the treatment you or a friend have received for club drug use or addiction.

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