by Teen Drug Abuse Staff
Many teens like to go out and play during the night; parents should know where their child is and what they are doing. Dances and teen clubs are not always a safe environment when it comes to hanging out. Parents need too know that frequent hang-out clubs including movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls and video arcades are places that can be dangerous for teens in groups.
As a parent you should check on your child and make sure that the places they frequent are safe and in good standards. Be readily available to know what is going on in your teen’s life. Parents should also know that, contrary to the wisdom on the street, most drugs are not safe. MDMA (Ecstasy) can be fatal, even when taken in small doses. MDMA interferes with the body’s thermostat, especially during the summer months. In combination with vigorous physical activity and insufficient fluid intake, which can happen at dances or parks, the user could experience heatstroke or death.
The drug MDMA impairs kidney function and users are at risk for water intoxication. This means that physical activities, such as dancing and playing in parks can turn deadly. This is due to the fact that MDMA combined with too much water shuts down the internal body. Teens should also be cautioned that MDMA can be even more dangerous when used with some common antidepressants. MDMA is especially harmful to individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or who for genetic reasons, are less efficient at detoxifying the compounds of the drug.
The following are some of the more negative effects of club drugs:
- Memory loss
- Damage to nerve endings
- Behavioral problems
- Sexual assaults
Teenagers are vulnerable for several reasons. These drugs do not have to be smoked, injected, or snorted, which makes them easy to conceal or hide. It is as easy as popping a pill or taking a drink. The rave culture promotes acceptance, which can be very appealing to a teen that does not feel like they fit in, or does not have very high self esteem.
Club drugs are becoming commonplace at raves, arcades, and other teen hang-outs. Teens are using these drugs in order to fit in. We are now finding out that these drugs are in our schools and homes. Teenagers are giving little thought to the dangers of club drugs and what the long term effects may be. This is due to the short-term high these kids experience, which is very exhilarating and intense. It is a euphoric feeling of “Wow” and it gives off a false feeling of no more worries; the sensation is a feeling of nirvana.
Parents need to be informed about the club drug scene and its potential for danger. Here are some short descriptions of the club drug scene:
The first are raves, which are large, underground dance parties. These parties often go on all night and are designed to produce and enhance a hallucinogenic experience through drugs, music, and lighting. Next on the list are trace parties. These parties are private and are usually held at someone’s home. The crowd is typically elite and wealthy, and often includes young professional males seeking to take advantage of underage girls. Then there are the dance clubs – these are public business establishments where teens and young adults often go to mix and mingle. These are places where club drug users go to party and hang out.
Teenagers of today have good imaginations in the way they package their club drugs. Be alert for these types of deceptive packaging:
- Pills in Pez dispensers or Tic Tac boxes, and other candy containers, such as Skittles and Tootsie Rolls.
- Liquid kept in eye drop and mouthwash bottles, and the drug mixed in with water or sports drink bottles.
If you suspect that your teenager is involved with club drugs, get the facts, stay informed, and know the risks. Look around you and know the signs, because club drugs are easily hidden and can be consumed in plain sight.
Kathryn Barton, Fitchburg. “Madison Capital Times.” Pro-quest Database Newspapers. “Parents Need to Learn About Danger of Rave Drugs.” Nov 21, 2000, Page 9A.
Brochure. “Club Drugs; Nothing to Rave About.” Utah Attorney General’s Office. Us Bureau of Justice Assistance and Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Grant Number 99—JF—FX—0049.