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What Is GHB?
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, better known as GHB, was first synthesized in a lab in the 19th century. It is actually produced naturally, in small doses, in the body as food is broken down in the stomach. While it was originally used as an anesthetic, similar to Benzodiazepines, it became popular in the 80s among club- and gym-goers. Street names include:
- Easy Lay
- Georgia Home Boy
- Grievous Bodily Harm
- Liquid Ecstasy
- Liquid X
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GHB: The Party Drug
People claim that GHB, in small doses, has the effects of a stimulant. The drug, however, is actually a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Users claim that it gives them the relaxing effects of alcohol without the loss in coordination, slurred speech, or hangover. However, in high enough doses, it can cause someone to fall unconscious. Its effects are amplified when mixed with alcohol and can make a user fall unconscious within minutes. Along with Rohypnol, this is what caused it to become popular as a “date-rape” drug.
Today, despite being a Schedule I substance since 2001, GHB is coming back among fitness enthusiasts who claim that the drug produces human growth hormone, (HGH). Also, as a depressant, it is being used to provide sounder sleep.
Effects of GHB
There is much debate on the safety of recreational GHB use. Many report that when used in small-doses and not mixed with other drugs, it is safe and non-addictive. However, recent reports from new studies show that it is not only addictive and carries its own symptoms of withdrawal, but people are dying from overdosing on the depressant.
- Memory lapses
- Lowered temperature
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Dangers of GHB
Despite anecdotal evidence from users saying GHB is safe on its own, there have been reported cases of users experiencing overdose when the drug is repeatedly used. These symptoms include:
- Shallow breathing
- Blackouts and unconsciousness
16,000 people have died from GHB since 1990.
In a study of 207 deaths, 34 percent died from GHB alone.
64% of 207 deaths from GHB also involved another substance.
Despite the claims of many users, GHB is addictive. When someone starts taking it recreationally, they’ll find that they develop a tolerance and need to take more to feel the effects. Given how potent the depressant is, however, even an extra dose of it can put the user way over and into a life-threatening condition. When someone has reached this point, a dependency is not far behind.
Many treatment providers have claimed that GHB isn’t addictive and has no symptoms of withdrawal. However, symptoms of withdrawal, documented by Project GHB, include:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Psychotic thoughts
Founder of Project GHB and former LAPD Detective, Trinka Porrata, has claimed that GHB is “harder to quit than Heroin.”
Treatment for GHB Addiction
Given the dangerous nature of GHB, many people in the world are exposed to it without their knowledge. While it is unlikely that someone will become addicted to this one dose, repeated exposure can be the start of a dependence. Its resurgences makes it more and more likely that hundreds, if not thousands, are being exposed to its effects without their knowledge or consent. This makes it especially dangerous, as someone may feel the withdrawal of GHB without realizing what they are missing.
If you, or someone you know, have been exposed to any drug and need help, then reach out today. There are dedicated treatment providers waiting to hear from you. Whether this is something that happened on your own or by someone else, you deserve help.
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