Mind-altering substances have been a feature of nightclubbing since it began in the early 20th century. At first, alcohol was the drug of choice, joined from the late 1960s by marijuana and a range of pills. Use of so-called herbal highs or party pills of the kind shown here became common from 2003. Until 2008, when the hazardous effect of some party pills was recognised, their sale was unrestricted. It is unlikely that limiting access to one kind of drug diminished overall use by clubbers – anecdotal reports indicated a steep rise in the use of ecstasy after party-pill sales were restricted.
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