Good Friday morning! Last week we discussed Bath Salts and their abuse. Today we will discuss Club drugs. In the weeks to follow we will look into the following substances:
#1 Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
#3 Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
#5 MDMA (Ecstasy)
It is God’s desire that He completely sanctify every aspect of our lives – spirit, soul, and body according to I Thessalonians 5:23. God desires to direct our thoughts, our words, and our actions – this is called being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
As children of God, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians 6:19). With this in mind, we are to glorify God in our bodies because our bodies belong to Him (I Corinthians 6:20). A child of God dishonors God when they introduce into their body (which belongs to God) harmful substances. These substances are not only physically and soulically harmful, but they also diminish our sobriety which in turn decreases the Spirit’s ability to completely control our lives. When we partake of any of these substances, no matter how little it may be, we start the process of becoming filled with them, and as a result we become less filled with the Spirit.
I pray that all of us will attempt, by the grace of God, to live a Spirit filled life and that none of these substances will ever take away the power of God in our lives.
Club Drugs (GHB, Ketamine, Ecstasy, and Rohypnol)
Club drugs are a pharmacologically heterogeneous group of psychoactive drugs that tend to be abused by teens and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol, Ketamine, as well as MDMA (ecstasy) are some of the drugs included in this group.
GHB (Xyrem) is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for use in the treatment of narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).
Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) use began gaining popularity in the United States in the early 1990s. It is a benzodiazepine (chemically similar to sedative-hypnotic drugs such as Valium or Xanax), but it is not approved for medical use in this country, and its importation is banned.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, mostly used in veterinary practice.
How Are Club Drugs Abused?
GHB and Rohypnol are available in odorless, colorless, and tasteless forms that are frequently combined with alcohol and other beverages. Both drugs have been used to commit sexual assaults (also known as “date rape,” “acquaintance rape,” or “drug assisted” assault) due to their ability to sedate and incapacitate unsuspecting victims, preventing them from resisting sexual assault.
GHB is usually ingested orally, either in liquid or powder form, while Rohypnol is typically taken orally in pill form. Recent reports, however, have shown that Rohypnol is being ground up and snorted.
Both GHB and Rohypnol are also abused for their intoxication effects, similar to other CNS depressants.
GHB also has anabolic effects (it stimulates protein synthesis) and has been used by body builders to aid in fat reduction and muscle building.
How Do Club Drugs Affect the Brain?
GHB’s sedative effects may result in sleep, coma, or death.
Rohypnol, like other benzodiazepines, acts at the GABA receptor. It can produce anterograde amnesia, in which individuals may not remember events while under the influence of the drug.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, so called because it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. Low-dose intoxication results in impaired attention, learning ability, and memory. At higher doses, ketamine can cause dreamlike states and hallucinations; and at higher doses still, ketamine can cause delirium and amnesia.
Repeated use of GHB may lead to withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Severe withdrawal reactions have been reported among patients especially if other drugs or alcohol are involved.
Like other benzodiazepines, the use of Rohypnol can lead to addiction and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Ketamine use can produce significant cravings such as those found in individuals who use cocaine or amphetamines.
What Other Adverse Effects Do Club Drugs Have on Health?
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.
Rohypnol may be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other CNS depressants.
Ketamine, at high doses, can cause impaired motor function, high blood pressure, and potentially fatal respiratory problems.
How Widespread Is Club Drug Abuse?
According to results of the 2009 MTF survey, 0.7% of 8th grade and 1.1% of 12th grade students reported past year use of GHB.
Past-year use of Ketamine was reported by 1% of 8th graders, 1.3% of 10th graders, and 1.7% of 12th graders in 2009.
For Rohypnol, 0.4% of 8th and 10th graders, and 1% of 12th graders reported past year use.
The use of Club drugs is a big problem amongst our young people. We need to educate them on the dangers of these drugs and how they can be devastating to their bodies which belong to God.