Drugs have long been a problem in the clubs both overseas and here in America. Now, reports are coming out that "Club drug" abuse in Britain is on the rise, as young people ditch cocaine and heroin for mephedrone and ketamine.
Club drugs are constantly re-invented to evade drug laws and have left healthcare professionals ill-equipped to deal with new trends in substance abuse. Patterns of drug use in the UK are changing and over the last two or three years we have continued to see an increase in the use of "club drugs”.
According to a British survey the number of 16-24 year olds who used the stimulant mephedrone last year was at a similar level to powder cocaine abuse - a figure of around 300,000 people.
Both of these drugs are banned in Britain, but there is a roaring trade for "legal highs" among the clubbing community and young professionals.
Kids are always seeking the next high, especially if it remains legal (like bath salts). There are new drugs emerging all the time, particularly a group of substances known as "legal highs". The health risks associated with excessive use of club drugs are underestimated by many people and little is known about the potential problems of the newer drugs.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) recorded 41 new drug compounds in 2010 and 20 new compounds in the first four months of 2011.
The result is a lack of understanding about the drugs, and existing drug services that focus on alcohol, crack cocaine and heroin abuse are failing to cater for club drug addicts.
While more research on the potential dangers is of course warranted, first and foremost, these kids need to be made aware quickly that legal or not, these drugs are lethal. Perhaps a good online drug class is in order.