Clubs, Drugs, and Teenagers

It’s called ecstasy, it’s cheap and easy to get, and it’s all over New York City clubs. The same clubs that a lot of teenagers in Port Washington, and surrounding towns go to. What teenagers don’t realize, however, are the long-term effects of this drug, such as chronic depression, and suicide.

"Exit" and "Soundfactory" are the top two most popular clubs that teenagers in Port Washington visit. Why these clubs in particular? A Schreiber student, whose name cannot be released, tells how she gets in, if the minimum age to enter these clubs is 18 on certain days. She answered, " All you need is a valid New York State drivers license. It doesn’t even have to be a license; it can be a permit. The picture doesn’t have to look like you. As long as it has the correct birthdate, they don’t care. I got in with a white person ID, and I am Asian. I had no problem getting in. They look at the birthdate, and they never look up, they just tell you to go in." This shows you how easy it is to get into these clubs. When asking her if she is confronted with ecstasy when she gets in she answers, "Are you kidding me! It’s all over the place. It is so easy to get. Everybody sells it in the clubs, because they know that it is the best place to sell it and make a lot money"

I had asked a group of students who attend Schreiber and are known to be extensive clubhoppers, Why is ecstasy so popular at the clubs. One girl answered, "Because the drug makes you want to move and dance all night. When you swallow a pill, a half an hour later you are non-stop dancing. The drug lasts for four hours if you get a good pill, and then when you come off the drug, you take another one and you keep on going."

When researching this drug, I found out what makes the drug work. Ecstasy is made out of three different types of drugs, Heroin, speed and cocaine, they are processed together to make ecstasy. When taking the drug the person feels euphoric, and happy. They feel like they want to move around. Sometimes the person feels the great need to talk. Years ago, psychiatrists used the drug. They gave them to their patients so that they would talk about the feelings that they have.

This designer drug, releases serotonin, a chemical that is found in the brain. This chemical balances a person’s mood, and what a person feels emotionally. Every time a person "drops" (what people call ingesting a pill) an ecstasy pill, serotonin is released and whatever amount of the chemical is released is lost. People who take these drugs, and take them frequently, lose a lot of the serotonin in the brain. Over extensive and prolonged abuse of the drug the user will become extremely depressed. Long-term users of the drug become so depressed, they eventually become suicidal because most of the necessary chemical, serotonin, is lost and the person can no longer control their mood or how they feel from day to day.

Since I am of the age to enter these clubs, I decided that I would check it out for myself. Friday night, a friend and I went to club "Exit," sure enough, they looked at my ID, and without even looking at me they let me in to door. When I got into the club, I noticed a lot of people looked as if they were on the drug. Ways to know that if a person is under the influence of ecstasy, you will notice their eyes are fully dilated that they seem extremely happy, and extremely friendly. Another thing about people under the influence are, they like to be touched. Brushing up against somebody accidentally will feel good to someone who is under the influence. To see how easy it was to get the drug, I asked some random guy if he knew where to get it. Right there and then he asked me how many I wanted; indicating that he had some. By the end of the night I had asked maybe a dozen of more people if they knew where to get pills and everyone I asked had them. Every time we asked someone if they had the drug, the person always asked, "What kind do you want?" I hadn’t realized that there was more than one type of this drug.

My friend and I were amazed about how available the drug was. Something we noticed when we were there was that everybody always had a bottle of water in his or her hands. Ecstasy dehydrates you, and if you don’t drink enough water while you are in the drug, you can become so dehydrated that you can end up in the hospital. When the night was coming to an end, we noticed that a girl was on the floor. Groups of people were standing around her, when we went over to see what was going on, we noticed that the girl was passed out on the floor. I had asked a person standing next to me what had happened. She said that, "She passed out because she took a bad pill. Her body temperature was so high that the vital organs in her body were shutting down." This happened, because she had ingested a pill that had been laced with something else than what was supposed to be in it. My friend and I were shocked at what was happening in front of us. The drug by itself was dangerous enough, but now people are adding things into it that could kill you! Although my friend and I never found out what had happened to the girl, we hope it wasn’t too serious.

I asked a senior in Schreiber who I knew has taken the drug, and knows about it how many kinds of the drug are there? She answered, " There are so many different kinds I couldn’t even name then all! To name a few for you, there are Clovers-they are shaped as clovers, Superman-they have the superman sign on them, and there are Zorro’s-these pills have a "Z" on them like the TV show character, Zorro" I asked her what the difference was. "The difference between them are that they all have different ways to make you feel. Some of the have more heroin in them, and some of them have more cocaine in them. The Heroin, will make you feel like talking and you won’t feel like moving around as much, these pills are called "Dopey Pills" because they dope you out. Pills with more cocaine in them will make you want to move around a lot more, and it will give you oral fixations. These pills are called "Speedy pills." I asked her why a lot of people do this drug, she answered," that everybody is doing it, and that it is fun, we are teenagers, why not." I asked her if she was ever scared of getting a bad pill? "No because I only get pills from my friends, and I trust them." So you’re friends deal this drug? "Yeah, that is how I get it all the time." Are you ever scarred that one day you are going to become so depressed that you cannot control how you feel? "No, why would I, I am never going to be doing it for that long!" Well, how long have you been doing the drug on a regular basis? " I have been going to clubs and dropping pills almost every weekend since I was a sophomore, and I am now a senior"

I think that it is unusual that many of the people that I have interviewed knew the consequences of doing this drug, and they do it anyway. I am almost sure that the people, who saw the girl unconscious in the club, will go back there and do it over again. Clubs are always going to be around, and so are drugs. By my experience in the club that night, I think that people should have more extensive checks when someone is entering a nightclub. I’m sure that kids will find another way to get drugs, because they always do. But having better security in clubs would be a good way to stop teenagers from trying to get into clubs that they are not of age to go to and consume these drugs.

1