Signs & Symptoms of Club Drug Dependence

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  • 0:02 Club Drugs
  • 0:54 Signs of Drug Abuse
  • 2:14 Signs of Drug Dependence
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Do you know what club drugs are? Do you know what the signs and symptoms of club drug abuse and dependence are? You should, because one day you may use this knowledge to save a life!

Club Drugs

I went to school with a couple of people who I knew were into drugs. I barely knew them then, but I did find out many years later that my classmate's older brother died from a drug overdose not long after graduation. This was the only sibling the guy had and he was devastated. Unfortunately, not long after this happened with his brother, my classmate died from an overdose of the same exact drug. His parents were left childless, all because of drug abuse.

Club drugs, like Ecstasy, GHB, meth, ketamine and LSD, are associated with clubs, parties, raves and the like. And while you may know what these drugs are or at least have heard of them, do you know what the signs and symptoms of club drug dependence are? Recognizing these in yourself and others will allow you to intervene sooner and perhaps save a life.

Signs of Drug Abuse

Let's say that you have a friend named Matt. Matt is a cool cat. He's got an awesome and friendly personality. He gets along well with his family. He gets great grades and is a star athlete.

Then, all of a sudden you notice a change in Matt over time. Matt starts to flunk classes. He no longer works summer jobs, and he begins to neglect his favorite pet dog. He brags about having lots of unprotected sex, and you've seen him drive while under the influence of drugs. Later on, you see that he gets arrested for disorderly conduct and theft from a local store to support his drug habit.

He seems to have lost most of his friends and constantly picks a fight with you over absolutely nothing. And when you look at him, he just looks and smells funny. He's got bloodshot eyes, his weight has fluctuated, he looks unclean, he smells weird and seems to slur when he talks and tremors when he tries to sit still. He's also super irritable and angry at times and totally spaced out at others. He is paranoid and fearful of things that aren't really there. All of these may be signs of drug abuse, the habitual use of drugs but not for therapeutic purposes.

Signs of Drug Dependence

You confront Matt about the fact that he may have a drug problem and this makes him question what's going on in his life and who he's become. Matt realizes that he's built up a drug tolerance. This means that he needs more and more of the same drug with every use to experience the same effect he once did.

Matt also notices that if he tries to quit drugs cold turkey, he experiences withdrawal symptoms like nausea, insomnia, depression, shaking, sweating, anxiety and restlessness. So, Matt goes back to using drugs in order to avoid these symptoms, and while he promises himself he won't use a lot, he actually constantly lies to himself and uses more than he thought he would.

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