He National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and four partJ ner organizations have launched a multimedia public education strategy addressing the dangers of “club drugs” such as Ecstasy, GHB, and Rohypnol, often used at all-night “raves,” or dance parties.
“Club drugs are not harmless ‘fun drugs.’ … [R]esearch shows these drugs can have long-lasting negative effects on the brain that can alter memory function and motor skills. When these drugs are combined with alcohol, they become even more dangerous and potentially life-threatening,” said Dr. Alan I. Leshner, NIDA’s Director.
NIDA has distributed 330,000 free postcards at restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, and other locations in Washington, DC, and New York City and at 200 shopping malls nationwide. The postcards show the effects of Ecstasy on brain functions.
NIDA and its partners—the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Join Together, and National Families in Action—will also distribute copies of a Community Drug Alert Bulletin to anti-drug coalitions across the country. The Bulletin highlights NIDA research showing that use of club drugs can cause serious health problems, including hallucinations, paranoia, amnesia, and depression.
The Bulletin also notes that because some club drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless, they can be added unobtrusively to beverages. Two of the drugs, GHB and Rohypnol, have been associated with “date rapes” and other sexual assaults around the country.