About Protecting Your Kids
Get advice and information to help protect your children from dangers lurking in both the online and offline worlds. Learn how to contact us and report child abductions and sexual exploitation.
Dangers of Drugs
Tips for Parents: The Truth About Club Drugs
What Are Raves?
“Raves” are high energy, all-night dances that feature hard pounding techno-music and flashing laser lights. Raves are found in most metropolitan areas and, increasingly, in rural areas throughout the country. The parties are held in permanent dance clubs, abandoned warehouses, open fields, or empty buildings.
Raves are frequently advertised as “alcohol free” parties with hired security personnel. Internet sites often advertise these events as “safe” and “drug free.” However, they are dangerously over crowded parties where your child can be exposed to rampant drug use and a high-crime environment. Numerous overdoses are documented at these events.
Raves are one of the most popular venues where club drugs are distributed. Club drugs include MDMA (more commonly known as “Ecstasy”), GHB and Rohypnol (also known as the “date rape” drugs), Ketamine, Methamphetamine (also known as “Meth”), and LSD.
Because some club drugs are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, they can be added without detection to beverages by individuals who want to intoxicate or sedate others in order to commit sexual assaults.
Rave promoters capitalize on the effects of club drugs. Bottled water and sports drinks are sold at Raves, often at inflated prices, to manage hyperthermia and dehydration. Also found are pacifiers to prevent involuntary teeth clenching, menthol nasal inhalers, surgical masks, chemical lights, and neon glow sticks to increase sensory perception and enhance the Rave experience.
Cool down rooms are provided, usually at a cost, as a place to cool off due to increased body temperature of the drug user.
Don’t risk your child’s health and safety. Ask questions about where he or she is going and see it for yourself.
What Are Club Drugs?
1) Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
Street names: Ecstasy, E, X, XTC, Adam, Clarity, Lover’s Speed
An amphetamine-based, hallucinogenic type drug that is taken orally, usually in a tablet or capsule form.
- Lasts 3-6 hours.
- Enables dancers to dance for long periods of time.
- Increases the chances of dehydration, hyper tension, heart or kidney failure, and increased body temperature, which can lead to death.
- Long-term effects include confusion, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, paranoia, and loss of memory.
2) Gamma-hydoxybutyrate (GHB)
Street names: Grievous Bodily Harm, G, Liquid Ecstasy, Georgia Home Boy
A central nervous system depressant that is usually ingested in liquid, powder, tablet, and capsule forms.
- May last up to 4 hours, depending on the dose used.
- Slows breathing and heart rates to dangerous levels.
- Also has sedative and euphoric effects that begin up to 10-20 minutes from ingestion.
- Use in connection with alcohol increases its potential for harm.
- Overdose can occur quickly-sometimes death occurs.
Street names: Speed, Ice, Chalk, Meth, Crystal, Crank, Fire, Glass
A central nervous system stimulant, often found in pill, capsule, or powder form, that can be snorted, injected, or smoked.
- Displays signs of agitation, excited speech, lack of appetite, and increased physical activity.
- Often results in drastic weight loss, violence, psychotic behavior, paranoia, and sometimes damage to the heart or nervous system.
Street names: Special K, K, Vitamin K, Cat Valium
An injectable anesthetic used primarily by veterinarians, found either in liquid form or as a white powder that can be snorted or smoked, sometimes with marijuana.
- Causes reactions similar to those of PCP, a hallucinatory drug.
- Results in impaired attention, learning, and memory function. In larger doses, it may cause delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, and depression.
Street names: Roofies, Rophies, Roche, Forget-me Pill
Tasteless and odorless sedative, easily soluble in carbonated beverages, with toxic effects that are aggravated by concurrent use of alcohol.
- Can cause anterograde amnesia, which contributes to Rohypnol’s popularity as a “date rape” drug.
- Can cause decreased blood pressure, drowsiness, visual disturbances, dizziness, and confusion.
6) Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
Street names: Acid, Boomers, Yellow Sunshines
Hallucinogen that causes distortions in sensory perception, usually taken orally either in tablet or capsule form. Often sold on blotter paper that has been saturated with the drug.
- Are often unpredictable and may vary depending on dose, environment, and the user.
- Causes dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, dry mouth, and tremors.
- Can cause numbness, weakness, and nausea.
- Long-term effects may include persistent psychosis and hallucinogenic persisting perception disorder, commonly known as “flashbacks.”
Know the Signs
Effects of stimulant club drugs, such as MDMA and Methamphetamine:
- Increased heart rate
- Extreme rise in body temperature
- Uncontrollable movements
- Impaired speech
- High blood pressure
- Grinding teeth
Effects of sedative/hallucinogenic club drugs, such as GHB, Ketamine, LSD, and Rohypnol:
- Slow breathing
- Decreased heart rate (Except LSD)
- Respiratory problems
Effects common to all club drugs can include anxiety, panic, depression, euphoria, loss of memory, hallucinations, and psychotic behavior. Drugs, traces of drugs, and drug paraphernalia are direct evidence of drug abuse. Pacifiers, menthol inhalers, surgical masks, and other such items could also be considered indicators.
Where Do You Go for Help?
If you suspect your child is abusing drugs, monitor behavior carefully. Confirm with a trustworthy adult where your child is going and what he or she is doing. Enforce strict curfews. If you have evidence of club drug use, approach your child when he or she is sober, and if necessary, call on other family members and friends to support you in the confrontation.
Once the problem is confirmed, seek the help of professionals. If the person is under the influence of drugs and immediate intervention is necessary, consider medical assistance. Doctors, hospital substance programs, school counselors, the county mental health society, members of the clergy, organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous, and rape counseling centers stand ready and waiting to provide information and intervention assistance.
For More Information
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Office for Victims of Crime
Drug Enforcement Administration
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Office of National Drug Control Policy Clearinghouse
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
Dangers for Kids in Cyberspace
Even with its post-9/11 national security responsibilities, the FBI continues to play a key role in combating violent crime in big cities and local communities across the United States.
The Bureau concentrates on crime problems that pose major threats to American society. Significant violent crime incidents such as mass…
Cyberbullying happens when kids bully each other through electronic technology. Find out why cyberbullying is different from traditional bullying, what you can do to prevent it, and how you can report it when it happens.
Visit the federal government's cyberbullying webpage for more information.
Social Networking Sites: Online Friendships Can Mean Offline Peril
Social networking sites are websites that encourage people to post profiles of themselves—complete with pictures, interests, and even journals—so they can meet like-minded friends. Most also offer chat rooms. Most sites are free; some restrict membership by age.
These sites can be appealing to child sexual predators, too: all that easy and immediate access to information on potential victims. Even worse, kids want to look cool, so they sometimes post suggestive photos of themselves on the sites.
How pervasive is the problem? Even with all the media attention on the dangers of social networking, we still receive hundreds of complaints per year about children who have been victims of criminal incidents on social networks. These incidents include but are not limited to:
- Adults posing as children who are about the same age as the victim who later travel to abuse the child; and
- Adults posing as children who convince the child to expose themselves and/or perform sexual acts over webcam and later extort the child to perform additional acts.
According to an Internet safety pamphlet recently published by NCMEC, a survey of 12 to 17 year olds revealed that 38 percent had posted self-created content such as photos, videos, artwork, or stories. Another survey of 10 to 17 year olds revealed 46 percent admit to having given out their personal information to someone they did not know. The likelihood that kids will give out personal information over the Internet increases with age, with 56 percent of 16 to 17 year olds most likely sharing personal information.
Social networking websites often ask users to post a profile with their age, gender, hobbies, and interests. While these profiles help kids connect and share common interests, individuals who want to victimize kids can use those online profiles to search for potential victims. Kids sometimes compete to see who has the greatest number of contacts and will add new people to their lists even if they do not know them in real life.
Children often don’t realize that they cannot “take back” the online text and images they post. They may not know that individuals with access to this information can save and forward these postings to an unlimited number of users. Kids also may not realize the potential ramifications of their online activities. They can face consequences for posting harmful, explicit, dangerous, or demeaning information online, including being humiliated in front of their families and peers, suspended from school, charged criminally, and denied employment or entry into schools.
What can you do to keep your children safe, especially if they are visiting networking sites?
Most importantly, be aware and involved:
- Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep your Internet computer in an open, common room of the house.
- Tell your kids why it’s so important not to disclose personal information online.
- Check your kids’ profiles and what they post online.
- Read and follow the safety tips provided on the sites.
- Report inappropriate activity to the website or law enforcement immediately.
- Explain to your kids that once images are posted online they lose control of them and can never get them back.
- Only allow your kids to post photos or any type of personally identifying information on websites with your knowledge and consent.
- Instruct your kids to use privacy settings to restrict access to profiles so only the individuals on their contact lists are able to view their profiles.
- Remind kids to only add people they know in real life to their contact lists.
- Encourage kids to choose appropriate screen names or nicknames.
- Talk to your kids about creating strong passwords.
- Visit social networking websites with your kids, and exchange ideas about acceptable versus potentially risky websites.
- Ask your kids about the people they are communicating with online.
- Make it a rule with your kids that they can never give out personal information or meet anyone in person without your prior knowledge and consent. If you agree to a meeting between your child and someone they met online, talk to the parents/guardians of the other individual first and accompany your kids to the meeting in a public place.
- Encourage your kids to consider whether a message is harmful, dangerous, hurtful, or rude before posting or sending it online, and teach your kids not to respond to any rude or harassing remarks or messages that make them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused and to show you the messages instead.
- Educate yourself on the websites, software, and apps that your child uses.
- Don’t forget cell phones! They often have almost all the functionality of a computer.
The FBI's Child ID App provides parents with an easy way to electronically store their children’s pictures and vital information to have on hand in case their kids go missing.
The application, which works on most Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, allows users to store up-to-date images and physical descriptions—like height, weight, birthmarks, etc.—that could help responders in the event of an emergency. The information is stored only on your device—not with your mobile provider or the FBI…
The FBI-SOS program is a nationwide initiative designed to educate children in 3rd to 8th grades about the dangers they face on the Internet and to help prevent crimes against children. It promotes cyber citizenship among students by engaging them in a fun, age-appropriate, competitive online program where they learn how to safely and responsibly use the Internet. The program emphasizes the importance of cyber safety topics such as password security, smart surfing habits, and the safeguarding of personal information. FBI-SOS includes a national competition for schools (registration required), but the website can also be used by parents and their children.
For more information, visit the Safe Online Surfing (SOS) website.
The National Sex Offender Public Website enables every citizen to search the latest information from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and numerous Indian tribes for the identity and location of known sex offenders.