Club drugs are a group of drugs that primarily act on the brain. Some club drugs are well known, like cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), mephedrone and ketamine.
Groups of new club drugs are emerging all of the time. These are called ‘new psychoactive substances’ (NPS), the so called legal highs.
These are made specifically to mimic the effects of established drugs.
It is estimated that one new drug appears on the European drug market each week. Since these drugs are not regulated, it is hard to know exactly what each dose of drug contains.
Even people selling them don’t know this for sure. These are some of the reasons why the scientific evidence is limited.
Club drugs and the law
In 2015 the UK government made it illegal to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import or export psychoactive substances, including club drugs. The maximum sentence will be 7 years’ in prison.
Who uses club drugs?
Up to 1 million people may use club drugs each year in the UK. This figure is increasing, and some drugs like mephedrone and ketamine are more and more popular.
These drugs are most commonly used by students, members of the LGBT community, and people who identify themselves as ‘clubbers.’