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Recreational Drugs: Current Trends in the 90s

NCJ Number
Clinics in Laboratory Medicine Volume: 18 Issue: 4 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 727-746
Jeri D. Ropero-Miller; Bruce A. Goldberger Ph.D.
Date Published
December 1998
20 pages
Recreational drug use in the 1990's continues to be widespread; drug abuse has become commonplace in many social settings as a consequence of people's desires to feel elation, escape life's troubles, or conform to peer pressure.
With the inception of trends such as dance raves and gang banging, newer illicit drugs have gained tremendous popularity. These recreational drugs allegedly enhance sociability and liberate inhibitions, allowing users to experience feelings of euphoria. In any setting, recreational drugs taken alone or in combination with other drugs such as alcohol are dangerous and may have devastating effects including acute toxic reactions and death. A more sinister trend occurring with recreational drug use is its close association with criminal acts. Recreational drugs that have gained notoriety in the 1990's include gamma-hydroxybutyrate and flunitrazepam, as well as amphetamine analogues such as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine. Each drug is reviewed in terms of its use and misuse, pharmacology, clinical presentation and treatment, and laboratory analysis. 52 references, 2 tables, and 1 figure