GHB is naturally occurring and found in the human central nervous system, as well as in beef, wine, and in almost all animals and small citrus fruits. GHB is regulated in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United States and through most of Europe. Its pharmaceutical name is Xyrem, and it is used medically to treat excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients, as well as cataplexy and alcoholism. It also can be used as a general anesthetic, to treat insomnia and clinical depression and to improve athletic performance. GHB is used illicitly as a date rape drug and as an intoxicant, even though its use as an intoxicant is illegal in many jurisdictions. GHB abuse hotlines are an effective way of taking the first step to seek help for addiction.
Common GHB street names are:
- Georgia Home Boy
- Liquid Ecstasy
- Liquid X
- Liquid G
GHB is formulated either as a white powder material or as an odorless, colorless liquid. Its effects are felt within five to 20 minutes and last for about three to four hours. The effects of the drug can be prolonged with repeated dosages.
Did You Know?
In the 1980s, GHB was marketed as a dietary supplement to body builders and was available in health food stores.
Effects of GHB
Anecdotally, its effects have been described as similar to those felt with alcohol and Ecstasy. These effects include euphoria, enhanced sensuality and the loss or reduction of inhibition.
Other effects particular to GHB are:
- Lowered body temperature
- Increased sex drive
- Muscle tremors
- Urinary incontinence
- Memory lapses
At higher doses, GHB can cause further problems, such as:
- Visual disturbances
- Depressed breathing
“GHB is popular as a date rape drug. Victims are unlikely to remember an attack”These effects highlight why GHB is popular as a date rape drug. Victims are unlikely to remember an attack, and, if the drug is coupled with alcohol, the rape victim is likely to blame the effects felt on being drunk. GHB is easy to add to drinks because it is odorless and colorless, yet it sometimes has a salty flavor. GHB has been a Schedule I controlled substance ever since the high-profile death of a 15-year-old girl from GHB poisoning in 1999.
The way GHB affects each person can differ greatly. Factors that can affect the type of side effects you experience include:
- Age and body weight
- How often the drug has been taken in the past and in what quantity
- How the drug is consumed
- Pre-existing medical or psychiatric conditions
- The addition of alcohol or other drugs
GHB abuse hotlines can supply information about addiction treatment to help anyone seeking help for GHB addiction.
Overdose From GHB
GHB overdose can be extremely dangerous because of the drug’s multiple effects on the body. Doses of GHB over 3,500 mg can cause the rapid onset of unconsciousness. At doses above 7,000 mg, respiratory depression can occur. When doses above 7,000 mg are taken, the user’s heart rate can slow below 60 beats per minute, causing cardiac arrest and, potentially, death.
Other side effects of an overdose can include convulsions, especially when combined with stimulants, and nausea or vomiting, particularly when combined with alcohol. Respiratory arrest is the greatest danger when overdose occurs, although aspiration of vomit, positional asphyxia, and trauma that occurs while intoxicated are other common causes of death.
GHB abuse hotlines can provide useful information about what treatment options may be best for you. Common treatments that are particularly effective for GHB abuse and addiction are behavioral interventions (especially cognitive behavioral therapy) and supportive care for withdrawal symptoms. Patient involvement in tailoring treatments can be key to optimizing recovery.
Common GHB symptoms of withdrawal can include:
- Acute delirium
Did You Know?
Alexander Zaytsev first reported the synthesis of GHB in 1874, but the first major research conducted for its potential use in humans was done in the early 1960s.
GHB abuse helplines can be an important resource whenever you suspect a friend or loved one is abusing GHB. They provide valuable information about the risks and options available to anyone seeking help or those wishing to help a loved one through a difficult time. There are many inpatient and outpatient centers available throughout the country that can address the issue of GHB abuse. These centers offer diverse treatment programs, including private therapy centers and luxury facilities. To learn more, call us on .
Did You Know?
GHB was used in France, Italy and other European countries for decades as a sleeping agent and childbirth anesthetic. Problems related to its abuse potential and the introduction of newer drugs have since decreased the legitimate medical use of GHB.
To discuss the treatment or recovery of a loved one, GHB abuse hotlines are a free and accessible way of contacting a trained professional who can provide advice on the top treatment options in your area. Call us today on to speak to an advisor.
Did You Know?
A children’s toy called “Bindeez” (or “Aquadots” in the United States) was banned in Australia in November of 2007 because it was discovered that a compound in the manufacturing process was metabolized into GHB. Three children were hospitalized as a direct result before the toy was recalled.