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Party Drugs and Predatory Drugs

Although alcohol remains the most frequently used drug at UT, there are several other drugs that are used to intensify social experiences. These party drugs may be favored over other recreational drugs, such as alcohol or marijuana, because of their perceived ability to enhance social interaction by producing distinctive emotional and social effects, such as sense of physical closeness, empathy, and euphoria.

Party drugs are created synthetically in labs, and one reason these drugs can have unexpected side effects during use is due to substitutions or contamination during formulation. Manufacturers may intentionally or unintentionally dilute the purity of the drug by mixing other harmful substances such as other drugs or chemicals, which may lead to unintended or harmful effects.

This list of party drugs is not exhaustive and may not include all known street names of a drug. Side effects and symptoms may vary depending on dosage and purity of the drug.

Ecstasy, Molly (MDMA)

ecstasy, molly (MDMA)

MDMA, a hallucinogen also commonly known as "Ecstasy," is usually sold as small tablets of various colors imprinted with popular icons or words. Recently, MDMA, under the new name "Molly," has gained notoriety in popular media due to user deaths. Whether called Molly or Ecstasy, MDMA produces a combination of energy and sociability that has made it popular at events like raves and concerts since the 1980s.

Side Effects - Tightening of the jaw muscles, teeth clenching and grinding, rapid heart rate, excessive pupil dilation, excessive sweating, tremor, elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, muscle rigidity, shuffling gait, esophoria (tendency for eyes to turn inward), and difficulty urinating.

Withdrawal Symptoms - Compared with alcohol withdrawal, people who withdraw from MDMA are often more depressed, irritable, and unsociable.

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate)

GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyrate)

Street names for GHB include "Georgia Home Boy", "Juice", "Liquid Ecstasy", "Lollipops", "Mils", "G", "Liquid X", "Liquid G", and "Fantasy." GHB can be produced in clear liquid, white powder, tablet, and capsule forms. It is colorless and odorless, though has an extremely salty taste. GHB is commonly abused as a party drug or by body builders to stimulate muscle growth.

Side Effects - Euphoria, dizziness, excessive salivation, abnormally low heart rate, hypothermia, and amnesia, overdose can lead to seizures, coma, and death.

Withdrawal Symptoms - Anxiety, insomnia, tremor, and in severe cases, psychoses that do not respond well to treatment.

Abuse and Dependency - Chronic use may result in dependency.

Ketamine

visual repesentation of the party drug ketamine

Ketamine was developed as a dissociative anesthetic and is currently used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine. Street names for Ketamine include "K," "Special K,"Super K," Vitamin K," and "Cat Tranquilizer." It is manufactured as an injectable liquid but is often used illegally as an odorless and tasteless powder. Ketamine is either snorted or swallowed.

Side Effects - Bizarre thoughts and hallucinations, confusion, memory loss, delirium, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, and slow or "stop and start" breathing. "Flashbacks" or visual disturbances can appear days or weeks after ingestion.

Withdrawal Symptoms - chills, intense cravings, restlessness, nightmares, anxiety, tremors, sweating, irregular and rapid beating of the heart, depression, tiredness, decreased appetite.

Abuse and Dependency - Chronic use may result in dependency.

Rohypnol (Flunitrazepam)

ketamine

Rohypnol, is a potent, quick-acting sedative. Street names include "Roofies," "Date rape drug," "La roche," "R2," "Rib," "Roach," "Roofenol," "Rope," "Rophies," "Ruffies," and "The forget pill." Rohypnol commonly is found as a small white tablet with no taste or odor. Rohypnol is swallowed as a pill, dissolved in a drink, or snorted. Rohypnol is sometimes taken to enhance a heroin high, or to mellow or ease the experience of coming down from a cocaine or crack high. Used with alcohol, Rohypnol produces disinhibition and amnesia.

Side Effects - Higher doses produce anterograde amnesia (a form of memory loss where new events are not transferred to long-term memory), lack of muscle control, and loss of consciousness, reduced blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, visual disturbances, urinary retention, or aggressive behavior.

When mixed with alcohol or other sedating drugs, Rohypnol can cause incapacitation, prevent a person from resisting sexual assault, and be lethal.

Withdrawal symptoms - Headache, tension, anxiety, restlessness, muscle pain, sensitivity to light, numbness and tingling of the extremities, and seizures.

Abuse and Dependency - Chronic use may result in dependency.

Party Drugs and Sexual Assault

Alcohol remains the primary drug associated with sexual assault. However, Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine are other drugs may be used to reduce the ability of a person to resist unwanted sexual contact. Some reasons why these drugs may be used for sexual assault include:

  • Except for alcohol, these drugs are essentially colorless, tasteless, and odorless
  • These drugs can be added to beverages and a person may ingest them unknowingly
  • A person ingesting the drug may be unable to resist and/or remember being assaulted

Safety Tips

  • Do not accept drinks from unknown persons.
  • Avoid drinking out of punch bowls or containers that you have not opened yourself.
  • If you feel more intoxicated than you think you should be, tell someone and get help.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • If you think your drink might have been tampered with, get another one.
  • Go to the bar with someone if they have offered to buy you a drink. Watch the bar tender pouring the drink, and carry the drink yourself.
  • Watch out for each other.

What are some signs of being drugged?

  • Feeling more intoxicated than you usually do when drinking the same amount of alcohol.
  • Experiencing a quick onset of muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, and loss of motor coordination and judgment.
  • Having a difficult time remembering what happened after your last drink the night before.
  • Waking up and feeling like you had sex but do not remember with whom or when.

What should I do if I think I have been drugged?

  • Ask a friend to stay with you and help you get the help you need.
  • Preserve as much physical evidence as possible.
  • If studying abroad, contact your study abroad administrator. For emergency contact information, please see: http://world.utexas.edu/risk/emergency
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