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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. These drugs vary in their pharmacologic properties, physiological and psychological effects, and potential consequences. The use of club drugs by young people has increased in the last decade, and continue to get modified and evolve, making them very difficult to monitor. Further, these drugs are not picked up by routine drugs screening procedures, thereby making these popular with the criminals.


So-called club drugs, psychoactive substances by definition related to rave and private parties culture, have a strong social impact in terms of health risks, especially for their spread among adolescents and young adults. In addition, polydrug use is a common pattern of consumption in some subcultures, such as the ravers culture. We administered an ad hoc questionnaire to 37 Italian participants They have remained, over the years, a challenge for public health practitioners, particularly because of their spread among adolescents and young adults [ 12 ].

The U. A growing body of international research highlights the use of club drugs to be associated with serious physical health problems and psychiatric disorders [ 4 - 6 ], risky sexual behaviour [ 7 ] and violence and crime [ 89 ]. The health problems associated with the use of synthetic substances include both acute effects resulting from their use and long-term health damage, which is often different for other types of commonly abused drugs.

For example, the consumption of illegal methamphetamines has been associated with various acute adverse effects, including anxiety, headache, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, dizziness, and decreased appetite [ 10 ].

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MDMA, which initially causes euphoria and mental stimulation, can produce adverse reactions such as hypothermia, seizures, and other problems of multiorgan deficiencies [ 11 ]. Long-term damage from synthetic drug use, particularly observed from ketamine use, includes addiction problems among chronic users, urinary problems, and other physical forms of harm [ 12 ].

In general, consumers with a history of mental health problems are exposed to a higher risk of acute psychological and psychiatric adverse effects, ranging from mood loss, anxiety and aggression, to forms of depression and psychosis [ 4 ].

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Synthetic drugs have only recently entered the European market [ 10 ]. Although their use in the general population is low compared to more traditional drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and cannabis, they have the potential to penetrate some population groups, especially young people who attend particular social events in nightlife [ 13 ].

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In fact, epidemiological studies have shown that factors associated with loisiror recreational nightlife, such as certain music preferences and the choice of particular places of entertainment, are important predictors of illegal drug use in several European countries [ 14 ].

The use of psychotropic drugs is widespread especially among clubbers and ravers [ 1516 ]. In particular, some authors [ 18 ] have identified a positive correlation between the use of synthetic drugs and alternative music styles in the electronic music scenario.

For example, one study [ 19 ] showed that individuals who prefer dance music, compared to those who like other genres such as rock or funk, are at greater risk of using illegal drugs. An Italian survey [ 13 ] analysing wastewater showed an increase in ketamine use from toespecially in the major towns of northern and central Italy. The concentrations of ketamine detected are similar to those in Spain and Belgium and higher than those found in the United States and in the Czech Republic.

They have increased over time, particularly in several major urban areas such as Milan, Rome, Turin, and Bologna.

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The concentration of this substance seems to have increased in some small cities such as Cagliari, Gorizia, Bari, and Potenza as well. These findings suggest, in line with the EMCDDA report [ 10 ], that a general increase in synthetic drug use is related to night-time loisir. Another important phenomenon, common among many subcultures including ravers, is the polydrug use of narcotic substances.

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An Italian survey [ 2 ] has also shown that there is a high proportion of polydrug users in night-time loisir. Polydrug use presents a challenge to public health due to the unpredictable pharmacological, toxicological, and psychopathological effects of the interaction between different substances on vulnerable individuals.

Club drugs: mdma, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (ghb), rohypnol, and ketamine

Furthermore, in investigating the relationship between individuals, locations, and choices of consumption, the motivations linked to consumption play an important role [ 23 ]. According to the social learning theory, expectations about drug use are defined as beliefs about the effects of consumption and influence when and how an individual decides to take or not take a certain substance [ 24 ].

Expectations depend on many factors, including social norms, perceived effect in other people, personal experience with consumption, and affected consumption behaviour. Expectations about the effects Rave party pills review strong predictors of intentions to use some of drugs [ 25 ] and motivate consumption behaviour. The literature shows different reasons for drug use [ 26 ]. Among these, relaxation, intoxication, improvement in socialization, and alleviation of negative moods seem to be the main ones [ 27 ].

The wish to use drugs to feel better with others [ 28 ], as well as to increase the amount of time spent with others [ 29 ], is associated with an increase in consumption. For some consumers, participating in the rave experience can become a spiritual experience [ 32 ], which is sought after to feel a sense of belonging to particular social groups [ 33 ].

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At present, little data is available in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and health professionals have limited knowledge on the subject of polydrug use. In particular, synthetic drugs have an important social impact and contribute ificantly to the global burden of diseases [ 34 ]. For the above-mentioned reasons, increasing the amount of knowledge on the consumption styles of some subcultures of synthetic drug users and examining their demographic characteristics to understand their motivations and contexts are of particular interest in terms of public health.

The aim of the present survey is to explore the sociodemographic characteristics, consumption styles, motivations, contexts of use, representations of risk factors, and degree of overall satisfaction with life in a sample of synthetic drug users. Accurate data on the behaviours of club drug users are difficult to obtain due to the illegal and stigmatising nature of their behaviour, as consumers may be reluctant to participate in large-scale structured research.

For this reason, the literature has proposed more suitable approaches, namely, targeted sampling, to balance recruitment effectiveness and an adequate representation of specific subgroups [ 35 ]. Specifically, the ethnographic method has proved effective as a recruitment technique for consumer populations. Consumers of club drugs tend to gather at specific locations, such as nightclubs, bars, and rave parties [ 36 ]. The sample comprises 37 Italian users The subjects were reached during rave events in the city of Bologna and through the low threshold service of the municipality.

No subject were in charge of other welfare services. Regarding level of education, Of the participants, With regard to the type of employment, In comparing cohabitation styles, A questionnaire specifically deed for the purpose of the survey, inspired by other studies on drug consumption [ 23 ] was administered. The SPSS. When asked about usage, Regarding places of consumption, drug consumption appears to be more widespread at illegal self-managed raves and Rave party pills review Please indicate your degree of agreement with the following statements.

As for the reasons related to the consumption of synthetic substances and hallucinogens, the participants were asked to indicate their degree of agreement or disagreement with some statements. Moreover, participants were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with statements on the reasons for choosing a rave party context. Those who go to these parties go there to get out of reality, there are no other reasons. The frequency of use of some drugs were more ificantly correlated with specific individual reasons for consumption than others.

Frequency of use and desired effects during a rave also had statistically ificant correlations. Compared to the frequency of use, we found a statistically ificant difference with regard to the use of MDMA. Table 7 shows the differences through an Analysis of Variance ANOVA between the two groups on degree of satisfaction and reasons for the use of synthetic substances.

Our preliminary show a high frequency of polydrug use in the population of ravers under investigation.

Club drugs: review of the ‘rave’ with a note of concern for the indian scenario

The picture that emerges is that of a target group of young adults, both men and women, who are poorly integrated into their social contexts. According to some authors [ 37 ], polydrug consumption of substances is more widespread among disadvantaged socioeconomic classes. Some studies [ 38 ] have reported that the use of synthetic drugs seems to be more represented among young people with a low socioeconomic level.

Among synthetic drugs, every user reported having a lifetime history with MDMA and used it the most frequently in accordance with studies that, in Italy, see consumption increasing, especially in the north of the country and especially on weekends [ 21 ].

Club drugs and rave parties: a pilot study on synthetic drug consumption styles in a sample of young italian ravers

Similar to other surveys [ 39 ], our study sample reported frequent use of more traditional illicit drugs, particularly cocaine, along with the use of more synthetic drugs. As far as the perception of risk factors is concerned, it is interesting to note that it is precisely the contexts of primary and secondary socialization, e. Barnes and his colleagues [ 40 ] argued that socialisation is the cornerstone of individual and cultural psychological factors when problematic behaviours begin.

We need to consider that this type of party, which is illegal, can have a fairly complex organization behind it.

Therefore, these social contexts are directly linked to the consumption of club drugs [ 15 ]. Only a small percentage of users said they use synthetic drugs alone, and according to other studies [ 39 ], the group factor, combined with the sought-after effect of entertainment, is an element that encourages use among young adults.

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Amusement is the main motivation for the use of synthetic drugs. It should be noted that all consumption motivations received high scores that were well above the middle of the range of the scale. As is well known, novelty-seeking and sensation-seeking [ 41 ] behaviours are individual motivational factors that can determine the conduct of drug abuse. The analysis of correlations shows interesting consumer profiles: The more respondents reported using MDMA, the more likely they were to consume speed and LSD as well.

"party drugs"/mdma/ecstasy: factsheet

Furthermore, LSD consumption is directly proportional to ketamine use as well. Crossing from one substance to another, a pattern of use we saw in the consumption styles of our subjects can be fatally dangerous. MDMA and speed, in particular, are two substances capable of increasing serotonin and dopamine concentration levels in the central nervous system. In particular, ketamine and LSD, as channels to experiment with alternative worlds, i. The perceived vulnerability of young people and their low expectations for the future, e.

Moreover, for some, drug use is a means to fight or modulate emotions, feelings of discomfort, boredom, and dissatisfaction. The main motivation behind the choice of a rave event may be related to the type of music proposed at these parties, e. According to the literature [ 18 ], music, dancing, and the use of synthetic substances are constituent features of a rave event. The rhythm, sounds, and psychedelic lights, possibly combined with illegal substances, not only increase performance such as drug speedbut also raise serotonin levels and, at the same time, reduce the feeling of fatigue so that an individual can dance all night.

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Because techno music mainly comprises steady beats and a repetitive melody, where every musical moment feels the same, or at least very similar, to the one and the next, a listener may be induced into a trance-like state. Trance, besides a specific genre of electronic music, also means a modified state of consciousness. Rouget [ 43 ] defined it as a state of transient consciousness characterized by phenomena such as insensitivity to external stimuli, attenuation of consciousness, and psychic dissociation.

The link between music, the ability to induce such states, and the intake of psychoactive substances is very close and can lead to seeing rave parties as real workshops of dissociation [ 44 ].

From the survey data, some areas of daily life, e. On the contrary, areas with the highest level of satisfaction were leisure and peer groups. Almost half of the sample lived with their friends, probably to share their daily lives and prolong their studies and life habits, eg, studying, socialization spaces, and consumption styles. Some individuals choose hedonism and nightlife at the expense of other areas of life.

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A more recent article on primary care management of stimulant and deer drug is available.


Club drugs tend to be used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties.


Ecstasy is the common name for a drug called MDMA, which is usually sold as a pill or capsule, although it can also come in powder or crystal form.