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NIDA Notes: Research on Club Drugs

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2003
65 pages
This document discusses some findings on research on club drugs.
Unborn children of ecstasy users may suffer deleterious effects that last into adulthood. Methamphetamine abuse is linked to impaired cognitive and motor skills despite recovery of dopamine transporters. Use of cigarettes by American teenagers decreased from 2000-2001. There has been a worldwide increase in the use of MDMA, particularly among teens and young adults. Targeted drug abuse prevention approaches that address specific factors that are associated with MDMA use by different types of users and in different regions of the country are needed to reduce MDMA abuse. Methamphetamine abusers typically use the drug throughout the day in a pattern that resembles taking medication, while cocaine abusers often exhibit a binge pattern, using the drug continuously over a period of several evening and nighttime hours. Methamphetamine-induced damage prompts other nerve cells in brain regions involved in cognition as well as movement to self-destruct. Chronic methamphetamine abusers are at risk for cognitive impairment and early onset of movement disorders associated with aging. Prenatal exposure to drugs such as phencyclidine (PCP), ketamine, and alcohol causes widespread damage to the developing rat brain. A broad-based public initiative has been launched to inform and educate teens, young adults, parents, and communities about the dangers of drugs such as ecstasy and GHB. Club drugs include MDMA (ecstasy), GHB, ketamine, rohypnol, methamphetamine, and LSD. Chronic use of MDMA causes brain damage in people. There is an epidemic of methamphetamine use underway in Iowa. The use of methamphetamine has been increasing in western areas of the United States and spreading to other areas of the country. Methamphetamine and cocaine are often compared to each other because they produce similar mood-altering effects and both have a high potential for abuse and dependence.