Club Drugs and Their Common Effects on the Brain and Body

Club drugs gained popularity in night clubs and dance parties across cities but are now becoming more mainstream. Club drugs such as ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, GHB, Rohypnol and methamphetamine are increasing in presence outside of clubs into the community. Learn more about club drugs and common effects on the brain and body.


Research has shown club drugs can pose serious health problems when used alone, but particularly in combination with other drugs. A drug interaction may occur when two or more drugs are taken during the same time frame. Learn more about the following club drugs and effects:

Methamphetamine (“Meth”)

Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant which strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine but the central nervous system effects are increased due to its synthetic nature. Many people use meth because it heightens physical and mental performance. Drugs alter moods differently, depending on how it is used. Meth stimulates the central nervous system with effects lasting four to 24 hours. Meth has a high potential for abuse and dependency due to effects of the drug. People may feel lethargic or depressed once the euphoria wears off.

Ecstasy (“X”, “E,” “MDMA)

MDMA or Ecstasy is a synthetic psychoactive drug with both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. The pleasurable effects can help individuals feel relaxed, in an upbeat mood, reduce anxiety, increase sensitivity to others and promote a high energy level that can be sustained for hours. One problem happens when MDMA is taken too frequently as it loses the ability to elevate one’s mood by permanently damaging serotonin neurons. This can cause people to feel more depressed than usual.


Gamma hydroxoy butyrate (GHB) is a depressant which quickly affects the central nervous system. Typically it is a colorless, odorless liquid with a salty taste but is also found in powder and capsule forms. GHB is used to obtain a euphoric, sedated state of being. The feeling of relaxation and calmness are felt with low to moderate dosages, experienced 10 minutes to an hour after ingestion. Negative effects can occur which include nausea, drowsiness, respiratory distress, dizziness, seizures and amnesia. GHB has very serious effects on the body. There is an important distinction between effects of a low to moderate dose of the drug and higher dosages which can lead to serious, negative side effects.

Ketamine (“K,” “Special K,” “Vitamin K”)

Ketamine is a non-barbiturate with rapid-acting dissociative anesthetic which separates perception from sensation, Ketamine is a liquid and most of it is potent when injected intramuscularly or intravenously. It may also be made into a tablet or powder by evaporating the liquid and reducing it a fine white powder. The greatest effect is the ability to not feel pain which can lead people to cause self injury without realization. Psychological dependence can develop and, over time, may cause liver damage and eventually liver failure.


The Villa supports individuals trying to quit club drugs or other drugs or alcohol. Call us if you are struggling with addiction to find out how we can support your journey to recovery from addiction.