Club Culture & Substance Abuse
We live in a society where people work 9 to 5 so they can live it up on the weekend. Oftentimes, people ‘live it up’ in the clubs or at parties on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. People meet up with friends to go dancing and have a good time together. Though there is nothing wrong with dancing and having fun with friends, there is a problem with substance abuse. The problem with the club/party culture is that it essentially promotes substance abuse. Though clubs do not directly encourage people to drink or do drugs, the atmosphere and people in it have developed an unhealthy habit of substance abuse in order to have a good time. Alcohol and drug abuse is a rampant issue that is alive and well in the club and party culture. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing club culture and the growing substance abuse problem that is surrounding it.
The club scenes are typically something for younger adults (21-35 years). College students, newly graduated adults, and hard-working young adults typically make up the majority of the population demographics at nightclubs. The club scene is centered around the idea of ‘losing yourself’ and having a good time, by whatever means necessary. Most of the time, this means drinking a good amount of alcohol to get comfortable with losing yourself. That way, you can comfortably dance, talk to whoever, and “enjoy yourself”. However, it does not stop at alcohol. Unfortunately, people implement drugs into this scene as well, but this is not such a new thing. When nightclubs started to take off in the 60s, it quickly became a scene for people to openly and actively abuse substances. Since then, substance abuse has become a huge problem in the nightlife scene.
Over time, clubs have evolved into much more than they originally were. Now, people go to raves and EDM festivals for an even more lively experience. Dark rooms, flashy visuals, and loud music make an ideal environment for someone that is under the influence. Now that we’ve defined what the club culture is and what it’s like, let’s discuss what substances are actively being abused in these environments.
Alcohol is probably the widely abused substance in the nightclub scene. In a study done in 2015, 26.7% of people ages 18 or older admitted to heavy drinking at the time or at some point in their life. Considering the statistics and the fact that most nightclubs serve only alcoholic beverages, it’s easy to assume most people in these clubs are under the influence of it. Many of these people who are looking to truly lose themselves drink to the point of not remembering anything, or otherwise known as blacking out. This is not an uncommon occurrence in these types of scenes, it’s something that’s even joked about quite frequently in pop culture (songs, literature, movies, tv, etc.) But alcoholism is not a laughing matter. Alcohol is a depressant and it can give a person a feeling of being loose, free, and relaxed. It provides a sense of euphoria, but not the same type of euphoria a drug like cocaine would.
Cocaine, otherwise known as crack, blow, or coke, it is another widely abused substance in night clubs. It is a powerful stimulant that comes in a powder form which is often inhaled through a user’s nostrils, rubbed on their gums, or injected into the bloodstream. Once the substance hits the person’s brain, they quickly get a sense of euphoria. Other side-effects of the drug are increased alertness, paranoia, increased energy/happiness, hypersensitivity to all senses, and irritability. This drug is powerful, but the effects are short-lived. People will often use cocaine to create a more energetic club experience. The problem is that the effects are short-lived and users are then prompted to use more in order to keep a continual euphoric high. This can quickly lead to addiction as well as other major health concerns.
A drug that has been growing in popularity at nightclubs, dance clubs, raves, and concert festivals, MDMA is a synthetic drug that creates powerful, euphoric, and hallucinogenic experiences for the user. MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy/molly, is a mixture of a stimulant and a hallucinogenic. It alters a person’s mood, feelings, and perception of reality. This drug has quickly been labeled the “rave” drug due to its overwhelming presence at EDM festivals and rave concerts. This drug usually comes as a tablet that people put on their tongue and ingest orally, similar to LSD. This drug increases the amount of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine released in your body. The release of these hormones causes the user to have increased energy, heart rate, blood pressure, appetite, emotion, and sexual arousal. A person loses a lot of control when they are on this substance, they become something they otherwise would not be. Though this drug creates a very powerful high for the user, the cons far outweigh the pros. An MDMA user should expect to experience depression, insomnia, anxiety, decreased appetite, decreased sex drive, irritability, and aggression.
Though there are more substances that are abused in the club scenes, these three are the most prevalent. Alcohol is the only legal substance that can actively be abused in nightclubs, while cocaine and ecstasy are illegal substances being abused. Each of these substances has its own set of short-term side-effects that may be appealing to users, but none of them are without their own alarming long-term side-effects. Continual abuse of these substances can result in a wide range of health issues ranging from anxiety/insomnia to vital organ failure/death. Most of the people that are active in the nightlife scene do not realize the consequences of their actions because they have not been properly educated on them. With information like this, we hope to spread the word on substance abuse and the dangers that it can have on a person’s health when they get addicted. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to any of these substances or other ones not listed, get help today!