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How Do Hallucinogens Impact Society? - Coping With Social Risks

harm reduction people club

An ominous danger exists at some places where young people go to socialize, dance, and get high. Certain “club drugs” have been linked to unwanted sex, including violent date rapes. Alcohol is considered by far the most common date rape drug, but hallucinogens such as ketamine and other substances have also been cited. Many young people are leery of club drugs, some of which are tasteless, odorless, and colorless; these can easily be slipped into a drink without detection.

A controversial idea for lessening negative consequences of hallucinogen use is called harm reduction. Organizations such as DanceSafe implore dance club owners to reduce the dangers of overuse by, for example, providing effective air-conditioning and readily available drinking water to offset increased body temperatures brought about by MDMA use. Some harm reduction advocates provide testing of club drugs at the scene to make sure they are not contaminated by more dangerous substances.

Harm reduction supporters maintain that some teenagers are going to use illicit substances regardless of laws and warnings, so it's best to lower their risks. They do not support substance use; they say they simply want to educate users and provide safer places where hallucinogen use inevitably will occur.

Skeptics point out that harm reduction efforts encourage more young people to indulge, assuring them of “safe” situations.

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