Rave Parties and the Abuse of Club Drugs

Once found primarily in large metropolitan areas, rave parties are making their way into more rural settings. Increasingly, parents need to understand what is meant by the term and what happens at the parties once kids get there. A rave is a techno party where the music, strobe lighting and partying last into the wee hours. Raves can take place in nightclubs, but they are also held in abandoned buildings or out-door areas – wherever young people can dance and play music throughout the night and use drugs. The most common drugs taken and distributed at rave parties are called club drugs. Club drugs can be tasteless and odorless, which makes them easy to slip into a person’s drink. If your child attends a rave they may not intend to take drugs, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. Here are some of the drugs that get circulated at raves:


To keep dancing all night many rave attendees take the amphetamine known as Ecstasy. This drug is popular with clubbers because it also creates heightened feelings of social connectedness. The danger is that the drug also raises body temperatures to dangerous levels. It is sometimes called MDMA or Lover’s Speed.


Also known as Grievous Bodily Harm or Liquid Ecstasy, GHB is a depressant. The drug is easy to overdose on, which can bring heart beat and respiration down to a deadly slowness.


This is also a stimulant that boosts energy. It can be snorted, smoked, swallowed as a pill or injected. It’s also called Crystal, Speed, Glass or Crank. Meth is highly addictive and frequently leads to dramatic drops in body weight.


This drug is pure hallucinogen – meaning it will create distorted perceptions of reality. It usually appears in powder or liquid form though sometimes it is mixed with marijuana and then smoked.


Also called Roofies, this is the most common date rape chemical. The drug is easily slipped into drinks during a night of crowded dancing. It leads to confusion and interferes with short-term memory.


This hallucinogenic drug didn’t disappear with the hippie movement. It’s still around, and it is most often sold absorbed onto pieces of brightly colored paper. The FBI wants parents to be informed about raves and the drugs passed around at the parties. To learn more, visit the Bureau’s page.

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