Club drugs: Old medicines as new party drugs

Sergio Abanades, Ana M. Peiró, Magí Farré

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


During the last few years the term club drugs has been used for defining an heterogeneous group of chemical substances in permanent evolution, that are consumed for recreational purposes. These substances have been extensively used, firstly by the Rave culture and later by the so called Club culture. These movements are characterized by the search of amplified sensations, by means of the combination of electronic music, marathon dancing and substance abuse. After years with a predominating consumption of designer amphetamines in these groups, it seems that the use of another type of substances is increasing, fundamentally drugs with hallucinogenic effects. This review focus in four of these substances; ketamine, dextromethorphan, nitrous oxide and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB, liquid ecstasy), and includes a discussion of their pharmacology, recreational use, adverse effects and patient management. These drugs are, at he same time, drugs of abuse and medicines with concrete indications in therapeutics, with an important increase of their consumption in the last few years. The Rave and Club cultures are also described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
JournalMedicina Clinica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2004


  • Club drugs
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid
  • GHB
  • Ketamine
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Rave


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