Club drugs tend to be used by young adults and teenagers at nightclubs, bars, parties, and concerts. According to the National Institute of Health, club drugs include GHB, LSD, ketamine, MDMA, methamphetamine, and Rohypnol. Withdrawal timelines from these drugs vary according to the specific drug, particulars of the individual, and other factors.
Despite a number of online reports stating that GHB is safe to use, there is a documented withdrawal syndrome associated with discontinuing GHB. The withdrawal process is similar to a combination of alcohol withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal that appears to occur in three discrete stages:
Early acute withdrawal symptoms occur 1-24 hours after discontinuation of heavy use. These can include:
Over the next 1-6 days, there is progressive change in symptoms that indicates a peak in most of the withdrawal symptoms, including:
The potential for seizures is also documented at any stage in the withdrawal process. Seizures can be potentially fatal, and individuals experiencing these should get immediate medical attention.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a hallucinogen similar to drugs like psilocybin, mescaline, and PCP. LSD use produces very vivid visual hallucinations, alterations of mood, and may produce a sense of wellbeing or euphoria. In some users, it may also produce anxiety and hopelessness.
People who use LSD regularly may develop tolerance; however, there are no recorded cases of LSD withdrawal. There are few, if any, recorded instances of individuals exhibiting behaviors consistent with addiction to drugs like alcohol and cocaine. Some people who use LSD for longer periods of time may experience symptoms of malaise or dissociation upon discontinuation, but there is no withdrawal profile for this drug that is recognized.
Ketamine, also known as special K, is a dissociative anesthetic that has its primary mechanism of action in blocking the excitatory neurotransmitter N-methyl-D-aspartate (NDMA). It was developed in the 1960s to replace the drug phencyclidine (PCP). The full effects of this drug are not well understood.
There are some psychological effects associated with discontinuing ketamine, such as lengthy periods of malaise, depressed mood, and loss of motivation. However, there is no formal withdrawal timeline recognized, and it is not believed that this drug produces significant physical dependence.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), better known to some individuals as ecstasy, is a synthetic drug that alters perception and mood. It is classified as a hallucinogen, although it has the combined properties of stimulant drugs and hallucinogens.The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that there are some studies that suggest that withdrawal symptoms from MDMA include fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, and difficulty concentrating. There is no formal timeline established for the withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuation of MDMA. Many nonprofessional websites propose a withdrawal timeline for MDMA; however, these are not empirically validated.
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as crystal meth, is a powerful man-made stimulant drug that is a popular drug of abuse. It can be readily made by private individuals, and it is commonly snorted or smoked. Research indicates that the timeline for withdrawal from crystal meth following discontinuation follows this course:
Acute withdrawal following discontinuation of Rohypnol can be expected to occur within 3-4 days following last use of the drug. Acute withdrawal typically consists of anxiety and symptoms associated with anxiety. This anxiety is often labeled as rebound anxiety, as the anxiety represents a symptom controlled by the drug when the drug was used and returns once the person stops using the drug. Rebound anxiety and other symptoms will induce cravings during this period. Other intense symptoms such as flulike symptoms, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping, nausea, vomiting, irritability, weight loss, and insomnia can accompany the anxiety. There is a potential for the development of seizures as well, and these can be potentially fatal. As a result, the person should be given immediate medical attention.
Protracted withdrawal occurs following the acute anxiety rebound phase, and in most individuals, it lasts 10-14 days. Milder manifestations of nausea, vomiting, shakiness, depression, anxiety, and cravings will continue over this time period.