Florida’s Club Drugs & Club Culture

Club culture—for many—involves taking illicit drugs and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Not only are there risks to using club drugs by themselves but mixing them can also pose additional danger.

Read on to learn more about the different types of club drugs, club drug effects, and how Tampa Florida nightlife is affected.

Types of Club Drugs

There are many different types of party drugs. Some of the most common drugs in the United States and in the Tampa clubbing scene include:

  • MDMA (ecstasy/molly): MDMA is a synthetic drug that alters perception and mood. Also commonly referred to as Molly or Ecstasy, this drug produces feelings of pleasure, increased energy, distorted sensory experiences, and emotional warmth.1
  • Methamphetamine (meth): Also known as speed, meth is a stimulant drug that can increase wakefulness, heart rate, and body temperature and decreases appetite. Meth can be smoked, snorted or injected. Long-term effects may include weight loss, paranoia, violent behavior, and hallucinations.2
  • Cocaine (coke): A stimulant drug that can cause increased energy, alertness, erratic behavior, paranoia, psychosis, and insomnia.3 Due to their proximity to the Caribbean and South America, Florida’s ports are prime destinations for smuggled cocaine.
  • Ketamine: A dissociative drug that causes hallucinations, memory loss, sedation, and slowed breathing. Ketamine can be snorted, smoked, swallowed, or injected.3
  • LSD (Acid): A hallucinogen that produces feelings of distorted reality, rapid emotional swings, and raised heart rate.3
  • GHB: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant drug that produces short-term effects that include drowsiness, memory loss, euphoria, and unconsciousness.3
  • Rohypnol (Roofies): A benzodiazepine drug that causes sedation, drowsiness, amnesia, blackouts, muscle relaxation, and impaired mental functioning or judgment.3

Some partiers may also use opioid drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers. Opioids cause drowsiness, euphoria, confusion, and slowed breathing. Opioids are especially dangerous in terms of causing fatal overdoses.4,5

Dangers of Club Culture

excessive drinking at a nightclubThere is a significant connection between drug use and clubbing. A 2011 study published in Substance Abuse Treatment and Policy found that people who visit nightclubs are twice as likely to use illicit drugs than those that don’t.6 A 2009 study found that 90% of club-going young adults in New York City sampled between the ages of 18 and 29 used cocaine.7

To make matters worse, many clubbing young adults use multiple substances at the same time or one right after the other, known as polydrug use.8 Mixing drugs is very unsafe because the effects of drugs in combination with each other can be stronger, unpredictable, and more likely to cause an overdose.8 Since alcohol is served at nightclubs, people frequently drink while using club drugs. Others may use marijuana, opioids, sedatives, or other club drugs to enhance the desired effects of club drugs, or to mitigate unwanted effects like insomnia from stimulants.8

Club drugs bought on the illicit market may also be mixed or cut with dangerous substances like fentanyl without the user’s knowledge.8 Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid that is currently the main driver of fatal overdoses in the U.S.9

Some may also unknowingly ingest club drugs like GBH or rohypnol (roofies), known as “date-rape drugs,” because of their sedative effects.3

In addition, infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis can spread through needle drug use (e.g., meth, heroin, ketamine).3

Lastly, chronic use of many club drugs can cause someone to develop an addiction. Addiction—or substance use disorder (SUD)—is defined as the continued use of a substance despite it causing significant problems in one’s life. Addiction can also cause a significant toll on the loved ones of the person struggling with addiction.10

Can Club Drugs Be Addictive?

Yes, the chronic use of some club drugs can lead to addiction.10

For example, meth and cocaine are extremely addictive.3 According to a 2009 study, 58.5% of clubbing young adults surveyed met or exceeded the criteria for drug dependence. More than half of those with dependence cited cocaine as the source of significant problems.7

Club drug use can also contribute to concurrent heavy use of alcohol and marijuana, which can lead to developing alcohol or marijuana addiction. Physiological dependence on multiple substances can complicate the withdrawal process when someone tries to quit or reduce their use.11

Fortunately, recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is possible. People with addiction can learn to successfully manage their disease and lead fulfilling lives after receiving the right help.10

Club Drug Addiction Treatment

group counseling for addiction to club drugsIf you suspect you or someone you love has a club drug addiction, know that recovery is possible with the proper help.10

River Oaks Treatment Center offers evidence-based alcohol and drug rehab in Tampa, FL. The facility offers individualized care for each patient in multiple levels of addiction treatment including:

Speak with a River Oaks admissions navigator available 24/7 at to learn more about rehab admissions, insurance coverage for rehab, or additional rehab payment methods.

You can also verify your insurance at River Oaks using the confidential .

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