Club drugs, also called Rave drugs, are a loosely-defined category of recreational drugs which are associated with discothèques in the 1970s and dance clubs, parties, and raves in the 1980s to the 2000s. Unlike many other categories, such as opiates, which are established according to pharmaceutical properties, club drugs are a "category of convenience," which includes drugs ranging from phenethylamines such as the popular ecstasy to the lesser known 2C-B, inhalants (nitrous oxide and amyl nitrite "poppers"), stimulants (such as amphetamines and cocaine), and hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. Dancers at all-night parties use these drugs for their stimulating or psychedelic properties. "Club drugs" vary by country and region; in some areas, even opiates such as heroin are sold at clubs, though this practice is relatively uncommon.
Examples of drugs typically categorized as club drugs include ecstasy, various amphetamines and less obviously suitable substances like the depressants GHB and the dissociative ketamine (which do not act as stimulants, but are commonly referred to as club drugs). 'Poppers' is the street name for a group of simple alkyl nitrites (the most well-known being amyl nitrite), which are clear, yellow volatile liquids which are inhaled for their intoxicating effects. Nitrites originally came as small glass capsules that were popped open, which led to the nickname "poppers." The drug became popular in the US first on the disco/club scene of the 1970s and then at dance and rave venues in the 1980s and 1990s. The "club drugs" vary by country and region. In Delaware, heroin (and many other drugs) are sold at clubs and at raves. Though far less common than other "club drugs" like MDMA, ketamine, or LSD, heroin can be found in some of New York's clubs." Late 2012, derivates of the 2C-X drugs, the NBOMes and especially 25I-NBOMe, have become common at raves in Europe.
In the mid- to late-1970s disco club scene, there was a thriving drug subculture, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud dance music and the flashing lights on the dancefloor, such as cocaine  (nicknamed "blow"), amyl nitrite "poppers," and the "...other quintessential 1970s club drug Quaalude, which suspended motor coordination and turned one’s arms and legs to Jell-O." According to Peter Braunstein, "[m]assive quantities of drugs [were] ingested in discothèques."
- *Erowid reference 6889
- Gootenberg, Paul 1954– – Between Coca and Cocaine: A Century or More of, pp. 119–150. He says that "The relationship of cocaine to 1970s disco culture cannot be stressed enough; ..." -
- Amyl, butyl and isobutyl nitrite (collectively known as alkyl nitrites) are clear, yellow liquids which are inhaled for their intoxicating effects. Nitrites originally came as small glass capsules that were popped open. This led to nitrites being given the name 'poppers' but this form of the drug is rarely found in the UK The drug became popular in the UK first on the disco/club scene of the 1970s and then at dance and rave venues in the 1980s and 1990s. Available at: http://www.drugscope.org.uk/druginfo/drugsearch/ds_results.asp?file=%5Cwip%5C11%5C1%5C1%5Cnitrites.html
- www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1999/7/1999_7_43.shtml – 76k -