What are Rave Clubs?
“Raves” are large all-night dance parties, held in unusual settings like warehouses or railroad yards that feature computer-generated, high volume pulsating music, known as “techno” or “house” music. Rave clubs got their start in England in the late 1980’s and are known for the music and use of drugs like Ecstasy.
Rave club goers are known as “Ravers”. All “Ravers” do not consume drugs. The club scene seems to be attracting adolescents from age 13 to young adults in their mid-to-late 20’s. Party announcements can be found posted on colorful fliers, through word of mouth, even on the Internet. The phenomenon known as the “Rave Movement” has been compared to the “Peace & Love Movement” of the 1960 and 1970’s.
What substances are being used on the Rave dance scene?
There are a variety of substances that have been connected with Rave Clubs. This is a brief list of some of the drugs by slang names and some of their effects:
- Ecstasy – (Hallucinogen/stimulant) Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that is similar to methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Ecstasy releases a chemical called “serotonin” when ingested that makes the user feel extremely happy. Ecstasy can produce a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure and a sense of alertness. The stimulant effects, which enable users to dance for extended periods, may also lead to dehydration, hypertension, and heart or kidney failure. Ecstasy can cause brain damage. It is one of the most widely-used of the club drugs.
- Ephedrine – (Stimulant) This substance is sold over-the-counter at convenience stores, some food stores, and mail order. It is sold often as ‘Herbal Ecstasy’ and is touted as a ‘safe’ and ‘legal’ form of Ecstasy. Ephedrine is in the Amphetamine family and can cause heart attacks seizures, agitation, palpitations and other health problems. Ephedrine is a common weight-loss substance. The FDA has proposed restrictions on ephedrine after it received more than 800 reports of harmful effects to people, among them, coronary problems that could put patients at risk for heart attacks, strokes and death.
- Ketamine – (Hallucinogen) Ketamine is an animal tranquilizer used by vets in pet surgery. Users say the effects of Ketamine are similar to PCP. Ketamine is usually snorted and is frequently used in combination with other drugs like ecstasy, heroin and cocaine. The high lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to about 2 hours. Special K, or powdered Ketamine, emerged as a recreational drug in the 1970’s and was known as “Vitamin K” in the 1980’s. It has since resurfaced as “Special K” in the 1990’s rave scene.
- GHB – (Depressant) This substance comes in a liquid form, looks like water and has a salty taste. GHB is used as a “club drug” for effects similar to those of Rohypnol, also known as “date rape drugs.” Coma and seizures can occur following GHB and when combined with methamphetamine. Mixing GHB with alcohol could be a deadly combination. Excessive use of GHB can result in loss of consciousness (G-hole), tremors, irregular and depressed respiration and coma.
- 5.Methcathinone – (Stimulant) Known on the street as Khat or cat, it produces an amphetamine-like effect. The drug produces a burst of energy and feeling of invincibility, accompanied by a state of well-being and euphoria. Effects include paranoia, hallucinations, nervousness and anxiety. Physical effects can be pounding heart, headaches, stomachaches, and shakes. Khat is most often snorted, but may also be injected with a needle or taken orally by mixing with a beverage such as a soft drink.
- LSD – (Hallucinogen) LSD induces abnormalities in sensory perceptions. Effects are unpredictable depending on the amount taken, on the surroundings in which the drug is used, and on the user’s personality, mood, and expectations. It can be in the form of a tablet, capsule, liquid, or on pieces of blotter paper that have absorbed the drug. It is typically taken by mouth. Effects come on within 30 to 90 minutes after taking it and can include physical effects of dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors
- Magic Mushrooms – (Hallucinogen) The effects of Mushrooms or “Shrooms” are similar to LSD. They include illusions and hallucinations and distorted perception of time and distance. It is ingested orally in the form of tablets or powder. Trips or episodes can consist of psychosis, convulsions, flashbacks, and possible death.
- Methamphetamine – (Stimulant) Methamphetamine affects many areas of the central nervous system. The drug is often made in clandestine laboratories from relatively inexpensive over-the-counter ingredients. Diverse groups, including young adults who attend raves, in many regions of the country are using it. It is available in many forms, and can be smoked, snorted, injected, or orally ingested. Methamphetamine use is associated with serious health consequences, including memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, and potential cardiac and neurological damage. Abusers typically are agitated, have excited speech, decreased appetite and increased physical activity levels. Some of the substances on the list are not new to the drug scene. At least half of them were being abused in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. During the 90’s, emergency room admissions have been on the increase due to club drug usage. It can be very dangerous to mix some of these substances together and/or to take with alcohol.
MDMA/Ecstasy produces less stimulation than cocaine or amphetamines and is taken for its hallucinogenic effects rather than its stimulant properties.
MDMA/Ecstasy is produced in clandestine laboratories, and is seldom pure. The amount in a capsule or tablet is likely to vary considerably, which could lead to overdoses. MDMA is a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)–Schedule I Substance–meaning that it has no medical use and high abuse potential. The Federal penalty for manufacturing or selling can lead to fine up to four million dollars. A ring -leader or head manufacturer could receive life in prison.
Why the sudden popularity of MDMA/Ecstasy?
- This substance has gained its popularity because it enhances self-awareness and is one of the most popular drugs used in “Raves”, large all night parties. In the mid-1980’s MDMA/Ecstasy burst onto the street drug scene and in 1999, the surge is back again.
- Ecstasy has fast become the drug of choice for young people around the United States and Tennessee is no exception. It seems to be sweeping the country and is gaining in popularity in rural communities as well as urban areas. Some users have reported a sense of well-being and sensuality, also a heightened sensory perception and insight. It makes people who use it feel a strong sense of empathy and emotional intimacy.
What are the effects of MDMA/Ecstasy?
- Beliefs about Ecstasy are reminiscent of similar claims made about LSD in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which proved to be untrue. According to its proponents, MDMA can make people trust each other and can break down barriers between therapists and patients, lovers and family members. Many problems users encounter with MDMA are similar to those found with the use of Amphetamines and Cocaine. They are: psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, and paranoia –during and sometime weeks after MDMA. (Psychotic episodes have been reported.)
- Physical symptoms include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating, increased heart rate, blood pressure, pulse and body temperature. (This drug is a special risk for people with heart disease, high blood pressure or circulatory problems.)
- Other side effects include: general restlessness and insomnia after the drug has worn off.
What are some slang names for MDMA/Ecstasy? Adam, X-TC, X, X-ing
- E, Essence
- Molly or “Mali”
- Domex, Kleenex
- Love drug, Love trip
- Rolling, Running, Shabu
- Speed for Lovers
How is MDMA/Ecstasy ingested? The substance is usually taken orally, sometimes snorted and rarely injected. It comes in capsule, tablet or pill form. Prices range from $10 to $25 per pill. A typical dose has an onset of about 20 to 60 minutes. Users feel a euphoric effect that will last about 3 to 5 hours. There are different stages during the high including; onset, the peek, and the come down. Higher doses can cause confusion, anxiety, depression and extreme physical fatigue, which may last as long as two days. (Similar effects to Methamphetamines: overdose, sweating, chills and fainting)
What is” Herbal Ecstasy ” and what are the effects of it?
Herbal Ecstasy is found on the shelves of health food stores and convenience markets. Caffeine and Ephedrine (both stimulants) are the active ingredients used to manufacture Methamphetamines. It comes in pill form and is usually taken orally.
Herbal Ecstasy Slang:
- Cloud 9
- Molly or “Mali”
- Rave Energy
- Ultimate X-Phoria
Just because this drug is promoted as natural does not mean it is safe.
Source: U.S. DHHS, DEA, Ecstasy.org, and TSC Library 1999
Metropolitan Drug Commission
PO Box 53375
Knoxville, TN 37950-3375
(865) 588-5550 Fax: (865) 588-8671
From: Counselor Magazine for Addiction Professional – January 2001 Edition
“Ecstasy Easy to Obtain, Say High School Seniors”
” A study by the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) reports that the percentage of U.S. high school seniors reporting that MDMA (ecstasy) was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain increased from 22 percent in 1989 to 40 percent in 1999, according to data from the Monitoring the Future high school survey.
These findings support recent reports that ecstasy, traditionally associated with clubs and rave parties, is becoming more accessible to other mainstream populations. While marijuana continues to be the illegal drug viewed most easily accessible, the perceived availability of marijuana, LSD, and other drugs (such as PCP, cocaine and heroin) has remained stable or decreased over the past decade.
Compiled by Kristen Jeter