Once the Party Stops: Treatment for Club Drugs

COVID-19 brought an abrupt halt to how people party. The clubs went dark and gone were the days of exchanging names and numbers and sharing club drugs. The clubs once held to a standard of fun, freedom and letting go are not found online.

Social distancing, the loss of favorite hangouts and not seeing friends gets old. COVID-19 shifted how people get together. People still party but in a more tech-savvy way. Work-from-home office apps is the new way to get together or host an event. 

The virtual clubs are crowded. Some clubs can have 300 or more people sign on. The premise is simple: put on clubwear, turn the lights down, move from room to room, dance or talk to others. At first, virtual clubs are awkward, but people learn to adjust to the new way of getting together because they are thirsty for the feeling of being in a community. Some people will get together with a small group of friends and join a favorite club to simulate the feeling of being in a mass get together.

Virtual clubs reduce the exposure to COVID-19 and recreational drugs that are often part of the “scene” when partiers meet in person.

Types of Club Drugs 

Clubs provide the opportunity for partying, dancing and doing drugs. Not everyone who goes to a club will use drugs, but they are readily available to those who seek them. 

People who use drugs choose their drug because of the way it makes them feel. Drugs can affect a person’s mood, behavior and cognizance of their surroundings and there are varieties available to fulfill just about any desire. All can be dangerous and harmful to the user.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the most common types of drugs found at clubs are:

  • MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also called ecstasy and Molly
  • GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), also known as G and liquid ecstasy
  • Ketamine, also known as Special K and K
  • Rohypnol, also known as roofies
  • Methamphetamine, also known as speed, ice, and meth
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), also known as acid

Date Rape Drugs

Unfortunately, not all drugs are ingested voluntarily. Some people use club drugs to incapacitate a person or leave them vulnerable. A person can slip a drug into a drink without the other person knowing. They are fast-working and potent, which is why they are so attractive to those intending to incapacitate another.

Rohypnol, also known as roofies, is a benzodiazepine that is used legally to treat insomnia or as a premedication for surgery. As a recreational drug, they decrease the effects of stimulants like methamphetamines or cocaine and their amnesia properties make them a perfect date rape drug.

GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate), also known as G and liquid ecstasy, can come in two forms: a clear liquid or a white powder that easily dissolves in liquids. The liquid form can leave a salty after-taste. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, people who take GHB can experience the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Excitement
  • Aggressive behavior

Signs of an overdose include loss of consciousness, seizures, slowed heart rate, considerably slowed breathing, lower body temperature, vomiting, nausea, coma and death.

Those who become addicted are subject to the following symptoms during withdrawal: insomnia, anxiety, tremors, increased heart rate and blood pressure and psychotic thoughts.

Ketamine—sometimes known as Special K, or K—is also used to incapacitate individuals. People can snort it, put in drinks or inject it. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency states users can experience the following:

  • Distortion of sights and sounds
  • Immobility and amnesia
  • Feelings of being out of control
  • Agitation, depression, unconsciousness
  • Flashbacks


Roofies, GHB and Special K are used to change moods, perceptions or let go of inhibitions, but they are not the only substances that produce these effects. 

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse states people use MDMA because “(i)t is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth and distorted sensory and time perception.” They also explain the adverse effects MDMA has on the body:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability
  • Impulsiveness and aggression
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased interest in and pleasure from sex

Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant often found in either pill or rock (referred to as a crystal). The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists the effects it has on the body.

When first used, meth can make people feel good; with sustained use, people can feel edgy, overly excited, angry, or afraid. Adverse reactions to meth are:        

  • Increased body temperature – sometimes severe enough to cause a person to pass out
  • Excessive itching 
  • “Meth mouth” – broken teeth and dry mouth       
  • Slowed thinking

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), also known as acid, is one of the most potent mind-altering chemicals. It is a clear or white odorless material made from lysergic acid, found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. 

LSD can affect the body by interrupting the communication between the brain and the spinal cord. According to the National Institutes of Health, other effects are:

  • Mood
  • Sensory perception
  • Sleep problems
  • Hunger
  • Body temperature fluctuation
  • Change in sexual behavior
  • Intestinal muscle control disruption

Getting Help for Club Drugs

Treatment for club drug addiction requires comprehensive care. The first step to a safe and effective treatment program is medically assisted care. No one should attempt to stop using club drugs without medical supervision. Once a person’s body is free from the drugs, they can begin comprehensive drug addiction treatment. Treatment can take place at a home-like treatment center. When a person stays at the treatment center for a prolonged period, their chances of recovering and staying sober increase. Safe, focused care; care that recognizes a person’s need for individual therapy programs is essential.

Comprehensive care that includes alternative modalities such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, journaling or guided therapy is beneficial to a person’s well-being. Therapy is more than taking care of the addiction; it is also about learning, accepting or forgiving. Finding a quiet, comfortable treatment center that removes everyday issues from the path to recovery is vital. Drug addiction treatment is a time to be kind to oneself, heal and nurture healthy habits. Finding a treatment center that wraps a person in a serene, private setting can make a difference in how they respond to therapy.


Even during a pandemic, club drugs are still available and people are still addicted to them. Cliffside Malibu understands the effects that club drugs have on the body and mind. We seek to safely aid a person in their effort to treat their club drug addiction. Our medical staff is trained to provide medical assistance while detoxing. Our therapists and counselors respond to a person’s need to have a treatment plan that is tailored to them. For more information, call Cliffside Malibu at (855) 403-5641.