According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, GHB is the abbreviation for gamma hydroxybutyrate. As one of the drugs found in the rave culture, it is often lumped into the category of “club drugs.” This drug category contains both recreational drugs and date rape drugs depending on how they are used. Because of its prevalence in today’s society, there are a few important things you should know about GHB.
1. What is GHB?
GHB is a naturally occurring substance that the human body makes as it breaks down food for energy and nutrients. You can find GHB in a number of other natural sources such as animal proteins and red wine. Although some believe that the GHB they find as a street drug is the same as the natural one found in the body it is not. When people manufacture it, it is not through any natural process. Chemists make it by mixing the chemicals in floor stripper, degreasing solvent, and drain cleaner. This mixture causes the body to produce natural GHB in large amounts which is what gives GHB its effects.
2. What are the Effects of GHB?
The effects of GHB are different each time and from person to person. Some of the initial effects are euphoria and relaxation but these quickly move into some of the more adverse effects. These are:
- visual hallucinations or disturbances,
- respiratory distress,
- loss of consciousness,
- coma, and
These effects are compounded by the fact that the chemists who make GHB sometimes mix other drugs or chemicals into it. This is the major cause of the documented deaths due to GHB.
3. What GHB is used For
GHB is used in a variety of ways. These ways are:
- naturally in the body – GHB is produced by the body. The GHB that is taken on top of this, is produced in a lab and usually contains chemicals and byproducts are extremely harmful and may be addictive.
o is a byproduct of metabolism,
o can be stored and used later for further breakdown for energy, only the GHB manufactured in the body is stored and used for more energy. GHB taken as a recreational drug is extremely dangerous and can easily kill through action or overdose.
- in medicine – the GHB used in medicine is a pharmaceutical grade GHB is to be taken as prescribed only.
o to treat narcolepsy,
- people use GHB recreationally – the reasons they start using GHB recreationally are because:
o they’ve heard it produces euphoria, and although it does produce euphoria, there are some serious side effects such as vomiting, that go along with the euphoric feeling.
o they’ve heard that it relieves depression, although GHB might have a slight effect on depression it does not actually relieve it. The people who attempt to use GHB to self medicate for depression need to seek qualified medical attention.
- in date rape – GHB makes this type of rape easier.
o to promote amnesia of the event,
o to pacify the victim,
o to make the act more conscionable to the rapist.
4. Is GHB Addictive?
Like many of the club drugs GHB is technically not physically addictive. It is however, psychologically addictive. Most people who use GHB become tolerant to the drug and are forced to take increasing amounts to achieve the same effect. They also experience withdrawal when they stop taking GHB. It is addictive in the way that chocolate, sports, and other behaviors are addictive.
5. Is GHB Dangerous?
Yes, GHB can be very dangerous particularly if when mixed with alcohol. Convulsions and coma are some of the more common side effects of taking street manufactured GHB. Taking GHB recreationally can lead to everything from legal and financial problems to death. This is why seeking treatment when addicted to GHB is so important.
For more information on GHB or if you or someone you love is addicted to GHB call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help.