, Volume 83, Issue 5, pp 884-895
Date: 16 May 2006

Prevalence and Predictors of Club Drug Use among Club-Going Young Adults in New York City

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“Club drugs” encompass a diverse range of substances. Although efforts have been made to determine the extent of club drug use among the general population, it is equally important to assess patterns of use among key target populations from which drug trends typically diffuse. This paper describes the results of a survey focused upon club drug use among club-going young adults in NYC. Time-space sampling generated a sample of 1,914 club-going young adults (ages 18–29) who provided data on their use of six key club drugs: ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine, GHB, and LSD, as well as data on their gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and other demographic variables. Club-going young adults report drug use at high rates—70% report lifetime illicit drug use and 22% report recent club drug use. Rates of club drug use differ by gender, sexual orientation and race/ethnicity. Male gender is predictive of ketamine, GHB, and methamphetamine use, while female gender is predictive of cocaine use. Gay/bisexual orientation and White race are predictive of the use of several club drugs. Greater health promotion efforts are warranted among this population. Intervention programs and campaigns should tailor specific drug messages to differentially target various segments of dance club patrons.