Recent trends in the use of "club drugs":
an Australian review

by
Degenhardt L, Copeland J, Dillon P.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre,
University of NSW,
Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Subst Use Misuse. 2005;40(9):1241-56.


ABSTRACT

The use of "club drugs" such as MDMA, ketamine, and GHB appears to have increased in Western countries over the last 20 years, and Australia is no exception to that trend. While levels of use appear to be relatively low in the general population, among users of these drugs a number of adverse health and psychological problems, including dependence, have been reported. MDMA or ecstasy is the third most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, and relatively more information is available on its use in Australia than of drugs such as GHB or ketamine. Although there are no population level data available, levels of ketamine use in the general population appear to be lower than those of MDMA. In addition, the harms reported by recreational users are not excessive and the mortality rate is low. At the individual level, many of those who experiment find the effects aversive and do not persist. The harms that require further investigation are the association between ketamine and unsafe sex and injecting behaviors, the neurotoxic effects, and use in situations where there is a heightened risk of accidental death when the user's cognition is grossly impaired. In contrast, while least is known of the epidemiology of GHB use, there is mounting evidence suggesting significant acute and long-term risks associated with the use of this drug. This suggests an urgent need for international research on the patterns of use, health, and psychosocial consequences of GHB use. In order to address public health issues associated with a range of club drug use, there is a need for research to identify the trends in population prevalence of these drugs. This could be most easily achieved by the inclusion of MDMA, ketamine, and GHB in household surveys that are currently collected routinely in a number of countries.

History
'Club drugs'
MDMA/MDE
"Rollin' on E"
'Chemi-kids'
Controversies
Ecstasy slang
Ecstasy in Ohio


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