Dangerous Drugs to Keep on Alert for Indiana University

A girl taking MDMA

Post high-school life is new and very exciting. Teenagers leave the safety of their homes and families to go out to meet new people, learn, and experience new things. A major theme of college/university life is the experimentation with mind altering substances. Many teenagers go off to college and get exposed to new things they had never seen or experienced. Substance abuse in college is a major concern because it has become known has a ‘rite of passage’. Individuals move on to college to better themselves for better careers for their adulthood. As a result of social imagery, college has been equally, if not more, synonymous with the multiple drug and alcohol use and abuse. As such, pre-collegiate and home education attempts to prepare teenagers from the pressures they will face with drug and alcohol experimentation. Most individuals understand the normal cautions that teenagers must take with alcohol and some of the ‘minor’ drugs like marijuana, but there are new drugs that are much more dangerous and gaining in popularity. Students preparing for Indiana University should be aware of increasingly popular drugs that are available to those students.


MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), which is also known as ecstasy, XTC, E, X, and Adam, is a synthetic drug that is a psychoactive substance with stimulant and hallucinogenic attributes. The drug reduces inhibitions and anxiety, while producing feelings of empathy and relaxation. MDMA is normally found in pill form which is taken orally; the effects of MDMA can last from 4 to 6 hours. It is a popular club/rave drug because it suppresses the bodies need to eat, drink, or sleep; therefore, partiers can continue to party for longer time periods. The drug short-circuits the brain signals, which can lead to dehydration and heat stroke from dancing/partying without hydration. Overdose of MDMA involves increased/rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, faintness, muscle cramping, panic attacks, and in the worse cases seizure or loss of consciousness.


GHB (gamma-hydroxybutrate), known as liquid ecstasy, soap, easy lay, Georgia homeboy, grievous bodily harm, liquid X, or goop, is a central nervous system depressant which was banned by the FDA in 1990. Mixing GBL with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide produces GHB, there are several formulas and supplies available via the internet. Low doses of GHB cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbances. Higher doses cause unconsciousness, seizure, severe respiratory depression and coma. Emergency room level attention is required for those who overdose on GHB.


GBL is a chemical found in most industrial cleaners that, when ingested alone, metabolizes into GHB. It is marketed as a dietary supplement, among other ailments, but has grown in popularity as the party scenes have transcended cities; now engulfing smaller towns.


Ketamine is also referred to as special K, K, and cat valium; which is a general anesthetic for veterinary use. Recent news reports have claimed that veterinary clinics are being robbed for their supply of ketamine. It can be injected, smoked, or swallowed in its liquid form. Ketamine’s effects resemble the physical effects of PCP and the visual effects of LSD. Ketamine lasts for an hour or less, which is one of its main attractions. Negative effects of ketamine are delirium, amnesia, depression, long-term memory, cognitive difficulties, and respiratory problems which can lead to death.


LSD, also commonly known as acid, is a hallucinogen that creates abnormal sensory perceptions. The effects of LSD are unpredictable; they rely on the individual’s personality, environment, and the amount taken. Effects of the drug are felt within 30 to 90 minutes of consumption. Physical effects are dilated pupils, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, tremors, increased temperature, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Long term effects of LSD use are psychosis and flashbacks. LSD is taken orally.

Prescription Drug

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise everywhere in the country, Indiana Universities are no exception. College students are abusing the ADD/ADHD medication Ritalin, among others, to increase their alertness; for testing/studying. Opiate agonists are pain relief medications that are also being abused by Indiana University students. These drugs are clear gateway drugs to heroin abuse.

These other drugs are on the rise in Indiana. The rise in their abuse is palpable. Violence associated with these drugs is almost known existent, except for GHB. GHB abuse has been repeatedly related to the increase in rape cases. Increased club drug abuse has led to the seizure of 1,465 doses of MDMA in 1999. Production of these substances is happening in college campus dorms and apartments, since students can find everything they need on the internet. Future and current Indiana University students (and their parents) should be more aware of the dangers of these other dangerous drugs. If you or someone you know is abusing any of these drugs it is essential to speak to a parent, dorm leader, teacher, or guidance counselor. Abusing these drugs can decrease collegiate productivity and lead to increased physical injury.



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