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Club Drugs

Gangs control much of the flow of dangerous recreational drugs at raves.

April 01, 2002  |  by Al Valdez


Veterinary anesthesia is the primary legitimate use for ketamine as reflected by one of its common street names, "cat Valium." Other street names for ketamine include "Special K" and "K."

Ketamine can be injected, applied to a smokeable material and smoked, or consumed in drinks. A powdered form of ketamine can easily be made by letting the solvent in the liquid evaporate. This can be done by baking the liquid, using heat to assist in the process. This leaves a white or slightly off white powder. The powder can resemble cocaine after it is pulverized., and it is often sold in 2x2 plastic baggies called "bump."

Onset of ketamine effects can occur within 15 to 20 minutes after ingestion. The duration has been reported to last from 30 to 90 minutes.

The drug is said to produce physical effects similar to PCP, with the visual effects of LSD. You may hear a user tell you he was in "K-Land." a term that is used to describe a mellow, colorful trip. At higher doses, users have reported a near death or out of body experience. Sometimes this experience is referred to as "K-Hole." As with GHB, ketamine has been used as a date rape drug because of its disassociative effects.


The most common way of selling and using LSD is "blotter paper." However, the liquid form is becoming popular in certain areas of the country. Small squares of gelatin called "window panes" can even be used to package LSD.

When compared to the other club drugs, LSD is cheap to buy. The cost is usually between $2 and $10 per hit. The effects can be felt between 20 and 30 minutes after ingestion.


Methamphetamine is frequently encountered at rave parties. Its stimulant effects and relatively inexpensive purchase price make it an ideal drug to be sold at a rave or club.

The onset of the methamphetamine effects varies with method of ingestion. Methamphetamine can cause convulsions, high body temperatures, uncontrolled movements, and insomnia. In extremely high doses methamphetamine can cause death. Don't forget, contact with a meth user after a binge can be extremely dangerous.


Rohypnol is used as a prescription sleep disorder medication in over 64 countries, but it has never been manufactured or marketed in the United States.

Rohypnol is commonly known as the date-rape drug. On the street Rohypnol is called "roofies," "Roche," "rope," "Mexican Valium," "roaches," or the "forget me pill."

The original form was a white pill that could be crushed and easily added to a drink. Currently, the manufacture has added a green colored dye to the formula and reshaped the tablet into an oblong caplet form with the number 542 imprinted on it.

The most well known effect of Rohypnol is temporary memory loss. Victims under the influence cannot remember what happened to them. This fact helped the drug to be known as the "date rape drug."

Rohypnol is pretty potent; about 10 times as strong as Valium. Symptoms can appear within 10 to 20 minutes after ingestion. A single 1-milligram dose can impair a victim for as long as 12 hours.

Al Valdez is an investigator with the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney's Office and author of the book, Gangs.

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