Many teenagers learn from society or peers that drinking equals a “good time.” However, alcohol is not the only dangerous substance to be concerned about when it comes to teenagers. Party drugs also tend to make their debut in the period of young adulthood. While party drugs may seem like a good choice at the moment, they can be toxic to the mind and body.
What Are Party Drugs?
Party drugs, also known as club drugs, are psychoactive substances that alter mood, behavior, and consciousness. The term “party drugs” can refer to several substances, including, but not limited to:
- MDMA – also known as “molly” or ecstasy
- GHB – also known as liquid ecstasy or “G”
- Ketamine – also known as “special K” or “K”
- Meth – also known as speed or ice
- LSD – also known as acid
The drugs listed above all lie in different categories, which group together drugs based on their effects on the central nervous system.
Party Drugs Explored
MDMA and meth are stimulants that increase psychological and nervous system activity in the brain and body. Alternatively, GHB (and alcohol) are considered depressants, which reduce functioning and nervous system activity in the brain and body.
Ketamine and LSD are psychedelic drugs, although ketamine is also considered dissociative. Psychedelic drugs produce profound alterations in perception, mood, and cognitive functioning, causing individuals to question their understanding of reality. Dissociative drugs do the same, but in such a way that makes a user feel disconnected from their body or environment.
All party drugs produce different effects, but overall, they uniquely affect the sensory and social experience.
Why Are Party Drugs Dangerous?
There are several reasons why party drugs are dangerous, with the first being that they are unregulated. Compared to alcohol, or even the increasing legality of marijuana use, party drugs are illegal to sell, buy, possess, or consume.
People should be concerned with who they get their drugs from because there is a chance that the drugs contain other substances. No one can be sure of what drugs they are buying from others because, in general, party drugs are illegal. Consuming drugs of a purer cut or laced with other drugs can be fatal.
Effects on Consciousness
Another reason party drugs are dangerous is their intense effects on consciousness. Human brains tend to seek out, recognize, and encourage activities that promote feelings of pleasure and reward. When someone introduces any chemical substance to their brain, their brain recognizes it as the highest pleasure. Such a response fools the brain to believe that this is better than any experience of pleasure while sober.
The human brain tends to remember pleasurable experiences. This means that even if you believe you do not have an addictive personality, your brain will still seek out substance use over and over again if your mind and body recognize it to be pleasurable. Feeding this urge will not only risk developing a dependency, but it could lead to an overdose.
Recognizing and motivating activities of pleasure and reward is just one way that the brain is affected by drug use. Drug use affects how a person copes with normal experiences of anxiety, irritability, depression, and stress. It also alters their cognitive ability to engage in critical thinking, make decisions, and experience self-control. It is why using a party drug one time can be dangerous, as it can cause long-lasting alterations to nearly all areas of the brain.
Other dangers that are likely to surface from becoming addicted to party drugs include:
- Inability to feel pleasure in a sober state. As tolerance to a substance increases, the body recognizes drug use as a new normal. It makes it, so the body needs more of a substance to achieve desired feelings of pleasure. As a result of coming down from high uses of chemical substances, a person is likely to experience long-lasting feelings of numbness.
- Physical or psychological dependence on substances of choice. Party drugs distort an individual’s experience of reality, sometimes perceived as a positive thing. Over time, the mind and body may become dependent on the altered reality produced by a substance. Frequent use will continue to deteriorate one’s perception of reality.
- Lifelong treatment dedication to reverse damage caused by party drugs. Recovery from addiction and substance use is a lifelong journey, especially when it comes to party drugs. It can take several years to find pleasure in a sober mental state again after using or abusing drugs for even a short time. Although recovery is challenging, it is crucial to understand that it is possible.
Party drugs are psychoactive chemicals that can cause extreme changes in mood, behavior, and consciousness. They are most commonly used in music or nightlife scenes to make already-stimulating environments even more stimulating. Although these drugs may seem like a good choice at the moment, the use of a party drug even one time can pose extreme dangers to mental and physical health. After use, the brain becomes motivated to seek out drug use over and over again, especially if the mind and body recognize drug use to be pleasurable. Bella Monte Recovery Center is a treatment center that offers several programs for recovery from addiction or substance use, including residential treatment services. Although treatment may seem intimidating, we understand that you deserve a life without feeling controlled by substance use. For more information about the dangers of party drugs, or for more about our facility, call us today at (800) 974-1938.